Table_1_Biobank Quality Management in the Network.XLSX (20.69 kB)

Table_1_Biobank Quality Management in the Network.XLSX

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posted on 26.06.2019, 04:14 by Loes Linsen, Veronique T'Joen, Catherine Van Der Straeten, Kristel Van Landuyt, Etienne Marbaix, Sofie Bekaert, Nadine Ectors

From as early as 2005, different guidelines and quality standards covering biobank activities and sample handling methods have been developed to improve and guarantee the reproducibility of biomarker research. Ten years on, the Quality working group wanted to gauge the current situation of these aspects in the biobanks of the network. To this end, two online surveys were launched (fall 2017 and fall 2018) to the biobank quality managers in the network to determine the status and setup of their current quality management system (QMS) and how their QMS and related practices have evolved over a 14 month time period. All biobanks addressed by the two surveys provided a complete response (12 and 13, respectively). A QMS was implemented in 85% of biobanks, with 4 standards emerging as primary basis. Supplementary guidelines were used, with a strong preference for the ISBER best practices for biobanks. The Standard Preanalytical Code—an indicator of the preanalytical lifecycle of a biospecimen impacting the downstream analysis results—was already implemented in 50% of the biobanks while the other half intends future implementation. To assess and maintain the quality of their QMS, 62% of biobanks used self-assessment tools and 71% participated in proficiency testing schemes. The majority of biobanks had implemented procedures for general and biobank specific activities. However, policies regarding the business and sustainability aspect of biobank were only implemented in a limited number of biobanks. A clear desire for a peer-review audit was expressed by 69% of biobanks, with over half of them intending to implement the recently published biobank standard ISO20387. Overall, the biobanks of the network have actively implemented a solid quality approach in their practices. The implementation of ISO 20387 may bring further professionalization of activities. Based on the needs expressed in this survey, the Quality working group will be setting up an audit program for the biobanks, to enhance, harmonize and streamline their activities. On the whole, the biobanks in the network are able to substantially contribute to translational research, as a primary facilitator guaranteeing high quality standards and reproducibility.