U of M Pathology

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Tissue Procurement Service

Tissue Procurement Service: FAQ (pdf)

Tissue Procurement Service request form (pdf)

Tissue Procurement Service (TPS) Fact Sheet (pdf)

Fact Sheet

Thomas J. Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Pathology

Funding: UMCCC

Purpose: To provide researchers with tissue from surgical resection specimens. This tissue is excess, in that it is not sampled for morphologic evaluation and would have been discarded 3-4 months after surgery if not procured for research.

Function: Tissue arrives fresh from the OR in the pathology grossing suite. The specimen is reviewed by the Pathology House officers, who decide the specifics of the procurement. Together with the TPS technician, tissue is procured.

Why this system: This is the only mechanism of procurement that insures that procurement does not compromise the diagnostic utility of the specimen. Patient care must come first before all research needs.

Biopsies: The TPS does not deal with diagnostic biopsy specimens unless a frozen section is performed and an unequivocal diagnosis is rendered.

Paraffin blocks: These contain excess tissue after diagnostic slides have been prepared. They are stored by the Pathology Department as part of the medical record. The TPS does not arrange for their use in research. These blocks can be used for research as long as the tissue is not exhausted. Use of paraffin blocks for research requires Pathology faculty input, usually via collaboration.

TPS approval letter: This letter from Dr. Giordano documents that researchers have applied to receive tissue from the TPS, have a basic understanding of the service, and agree to follow its procedures. It is needed for IRB approval for projects that require procurement of excess tissue as described above. It is not used for paraffin tissue-based research and a separate letter of collaboration from a Pathology faculty member is more appropriate in these projects.

Frozen tumor bank (FTB): The TPS has begun the banking of frozen tissues. These tissues are excess and thus are not part of the medical record. A separate approval letter can be obtained from Dr. Giordano for use of these tissues.

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