Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Tissue Microarray Consortium (QBCF-TMAC) for Biomarker Evaluation

QBCF-TMAc Request Form

To submit your completed application, or for more information, please contact Biobanque RRCancer.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Canadian women. While associated mortality has been steadily decreasing over the past few decades, breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women. Individual patient outcomes and treatment options vary greatly depending on the specific characteristics of the tumor. In line with ongoing efforts to stratify patients more specifically towards targeted therapies, there is an urgent need for the identification and validation of additional prognostic and predictive biomarkers that can accurately predict the natural progression and treatment response of each case. An important step in the translation of putative markers from the lab to the clinic is the ability to probe them in cancer tissues from women with breast cancer. With patient-derived breast cancer tissues in limited quantity, researchers are turning towards tissue microarrays (TMAs) that permit the evaluation of large cohorts using minimal amounts of tissue. 

The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Tissue Microarray Consortium (QBCF-TMAC) regroups researchers and clinicians from three different institutions. The goal of this team is to create a TMA based resource of 2000 breast cancer patients who consented to participate in the biobank initiatives from the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ). Biobanking activities within these three institutions were possible through the generous support of the RRCancer and the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

Access to the QBCF-TMAC TMA-based resource proceeds through a step-wise process that includes the approval of the Study Committee. A first Optimisation-TMA is provided in order to ensure staining quality. Should the staining be appropriate, a Discovery-TMA of 225 cases is released. This TMA is composed of 60 triple negative, 30 HER2+ER+, 30 HER2+ER- and 105 ER+PR+/- breast cancer cases. Following evaluation of the Discovery-TMA results, the Study Committee adjudicates access to the remaining 1775 cases. Extensive harmonized clinical data are stored in a central database (ATiM, Advanced Tissue Management, CTRNet). Fields include data relevant to initial diagnosis, treatment and outcome data.

The QBCF-TMAC will provide the breast cancer community with a unique resource of breast cancer tissues and by combining clinical and biomarkers data will ultimately lead to the definition of a nomogram to help patient stratification and influence management decisions. Should you be interested in accessing the QBCF-TMAC resource, please download and complete the proposal form and send it back via email to qbcftmac@gmail.com along with any additional required documents.


Canadian Ovarian Experimental Unified Resource (COEUR)

Coeur Request Specimen Form

To submit your completed application, or for more information, please contact Biobanque RRCancer.

“Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the western world. In one of every four women diagnosed, the cancer is resistant to standard first-line chemotherapy. In 2009, through a TFRI Translational Research project, leading ovarian cancer researchers and clinicians from across Canada joined forces to develop a biomarker-driven research program.

An essential part of the program is to link together several collections of cancerous tissues and biobanks through a central platform francepharmacie.fr. This platform is the Canadian Ovarian Experimental Unified Resource (COEUR) and will serve as a comprehensive biological and data resource for the entire biomarker program and the wider research community.

COEUR has been created to promote access, ensure quality, and provide standardization of biological material and data resources for biomarker research in ovarian cancer.

The central research platform is based on a retrospective collection of human epithelial ovarian cancer biological material.

Tissue samples include: high grade serous carcinoma; endometrioid carcinoma; clear cell carcinoma; mucinous carcinoma. The research platform also includes collections of other biological material, such as frozen tissues, blood DNA, serum, plasma, ascites fluids, FFPE samples and TMA, with associated clinical data.”

Access the COEUR repository

“To access the repository, researchers should complete an application form, including a study description. Study projects must meet management and study committee scientific criteria and applicants will need to provide a REB approval. COEUR is set up on the principle that biospecimens will be openly shared, so applicants must be willing to deposit results and data in the COEUR repository at the end of the study.”