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Bartlett J.M.S.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Nielsen T.O.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | Gao D.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | Gelmon K.A.,University of British Columbia | And 8 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer

Background: TLE3, a nuclear transcriptional repressor downstream of WNT signalling pathways, has been hypothesised as predictive of benefit from adjuvant taxane. Methods: MA.21 tissue microarrays were constructed from 1097 out of 2104 (52%) patients. TLE3 staining by immunohistochemistry used validated methodology. Continuous TLE3+ (percentage of cells staining positive) was assessed with both visual and automated scoring. The primary objective was to test the predictive effect of TLE3 on relapse-free survival using the MA.21 EC/T and CEF arms and the previously defined cut-point of 30% of cells staining positive in ≥1 core/tumour. Results: MA.21 patients had 83.2% TLE3 positive (TLE3+) tumours by visual score and 80.6% TLE3+ by automated image analysis while the previously observed rate of TLE3+ cases was 58.6%. TLE3 expression was significantly associated with ER expression (91.2% of ER-positive tumours were TLE3+; P<0.0001). At median 8-year follow-up, there was no evidence of a predictive effect of TLE3 expression with respect to taxane benefit using the established 30% or exploratory quartile cut-points. Conclusions: Proportionately more MA.21 patient tumours than expected were TLE3+. The pre-specified TLE3+ cut-point of 30% was not predictive of taxane benefit. TLE3 expression does not represent a viable biomarker for taxane benefit in breast cancer. © 2015 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved. Source

Watson P.H.,University of British Columbia | Watson P.H.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | Watson P.H.,British Columbia Cancer Agency Deeley Research Center | Watson P.H.,A+ Network | And 26 more authors.
Biopreservation and Biobanking

Each year funding agencies and academic institutions spend millions of dollars and euros on biobanking. All funding providers assume that after initial investments biobanks should be able to operate sustainably. However the topic of sustainability is challenging for the discipline of biobanking for several major reasons: the diversity in the biobanking landscape, the different purposes of biobanks, the fact that biobanks are dissimilar to other research infrastructures and the absence of universally understood or applicable value metrics for funders and other stakeholders. In this article our aim is to delineate a framework to allow more effective discussion and action around approaches for improving biobank sustainability. The term sustainability is often used to mean fiscally self-sustaining, but this restricted definition is not sufficient for biobanking. Instead we propose that biobank sustainability should be considered within a framework of three dimensions - financial, operational, and social. In each dimension, areas of focus or elements are identified that may allow different types of biobanks to distinguish and evaluate the relevance, likelihood, and impact of each element, as well as the risks to the biobank of failure to address them. Examples of practical solutions, tools and strategies to address biobank sustainability are also discussed. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Cheah S.,British Columbia Cancer Agency | O'Donoghue S.,British Columbia Cancer Agency | O'Donoghue S.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | Daudt H.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | And 9 more authors.
Biopreservation and Biobanking

Improving patient recruitment and consent to participate in clinical studies is an important issue. The process of consent involves three steps: patient referral for contact, the preliminary interview to determine patient interest, and the informed consent discussion. We hypothesized that putting the first step of the consent process into a 'Permission to Contact' (PTC) platform would improve patient engagement, would improve the efficiency of the other steps of the process, and would be acceptable to diverse patient groups. Methods: To test this hypothesis, four PTC platforms were established in three types of outpatient health clinics (cancer, cardiac, maternal health) in different British Columbia health centers. Each began as a research project where clinic personnel were engaged, clinic flow processes were mapped, and a design for each PTC was derived by consensus. All patients at these clinics were asked for 'permission to be contacted for future research purposes.' Patient approach and permission response rates were assessed and operational costs were estimated. Results: Overall permission rates were high for all projects, but ranged from 94% of 'cancer' patients to 80% of 'congenital heart' patients who were approached (p<0.0001). Sustainability was demonstrated by stable enrollment levels after several years, and ongoing costs averaged $25 (range $12-$39) for each 'permission' across all four platforms. Conclusions: A PTC platform is a feasible mechanism to engage patients in research programs such as biobanking. It is well supported by clinic staff and receives high engagement and acceptance from patients. Patient-approach rates vary in different clinics, likely due to both clinic and PTC process factors, but this strategy provides an efficient means of engaging patients in research and sets the stage for enhanced enrollment into translational research programs. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Wiegand K.C.,Applied Genomics | Wiegand K.C.,University of British Columbia | Lee A.F.,University of British Columbia | Al-Agha O.M.,Vancouver General Hospital | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Pathology

Mutation of the ARID1A gene and loss of the corresponding protein BAF250a has recently been described as a frequent event in clear cell and endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary. To determine whether BAF250a loss is common in other malignancies, immunohistochemistry (IHC) for BAF250a was performed on tissue microarrays (TMAs) in more than 3000 cancers, including carcinomas of breast, lung, thyroid, endometrium, kidney, stomach, oral cavity, cervix, pancreas, colon and rectum, as well as endometrial stromal sarcomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumours, sex cord-stromal tumours and four major types of lymphoma (diffuse large B cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma). We found that BAF250a loss is frequent in endometrial carcinomas but infrequent in other types of malignancies, with loss observed in 29% (29/101) of grade 1 or 2 and 39% (44/113) of grade 3 endometrioid carcinomas of the endometrium, 18% (17/95) of uterine serous carcinomas and 26% (6/23) of uterine clear cell carcinomas. Since endometrial cancers showed BAF250a loss, we stained whole tissue sections for BAF250a expression in nine cases of atypical hyperplasia and 10 cases of atypical endometriosis. Of the nine cases of complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia, all showed BAF250a expression; however, of 10 cases of atypical endometriosis (the putative precursor lesion for ovarian clear cell and endometrioid carcinoma), one case showed loss of staining for BAF250a in the atypical areas, with retention of staining in areas of non-atypical endometriosis. This was the sole case that recurred as an endometrioid carcinoma, indicating that BAF250a loss may be an early event in carcinogenesis. Since BAF250a loss is seen in endometrial carcinomas at a rate similar to that seen in ovarian carcinomas of clear cell and endometrioid type, and is uncommon in other malignancies, we conclude that loss of BAF250a is a particular feature of carcinomas arising from endometrial glandular epithelium. Copyright © 2011 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

LeBlanc J.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | Dee S.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | Dee S.,University of British Columbia | Braun L.,British Columbia BC Cancer Agency | And 4 more authors.
Biopreservation and Biobanking

The consent process involves three steps; referral for contact, preliminary interview, and informed consent discussion. We propose that the efficiency and frequency of the consent process for individual biobank related projects increases when the referral for contact is conducted by an independent "Permission to Contact" (PTC) platform within a health research organization. A PTC platform established at our center in 2007 obtains "permission to be contacted about future cancer research" from approximately 1200 patients annually. With ethics board approval, the British Columbia (BC) Cancer Agency's Tumour Tissue Repository (TTR) deployed a post-procedure consent protocol designed to obtain initial referrals from the PTC platform. This protocol was initially deployed for breast and gastrointestinal (GI) cancer patients (48% of patients), and later expanded as an option for all patients. We examined the impact on biobank accrual over a 4-year period spanning implementation of the post-procedure protocol. Within the first 2 years, while deploying an existing pre-procedure consent protocol, the TTR received, on average, 38.5 referrals/month, and consented 36.5 patients/month. Over the next 24 months, referral and consent rates increased to 68.5/month and 45.6/month, respectively, while operating both pre-procedure and post-procedure protocols. This represents a significant increase in overall referrals (1.78 fold) and consented patients (1.25 fold). For breast and GI cancer patients, referrals and consents, increased even further (2.4 and 1.6 fold, respectively). Overall, the consented/declined/unknown decision rates in the first period were 95.3%/1.2%/3.5% (n=918 approached patients), while rates in the second period were 86%/2.3%/11.7% (n=1272 approached patients). Overall, consent process costs fell by 14% per case. Patient engagement can be positively influenced by connecting a biobank with a PTC platform enhancing efficiency in obtaining consent, which is a key determinant of tumor biobank costs. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013. Source

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