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An empirical survey on biobanking of human genetic material and data in six EU countries.

Hirtzlin, Isabelle and Dubreuil, Christine and Préaubert, Nathalie and Duchier, Jenny and Jansen, Brigitte and Simon, Jürgen and Lobatao De Faria, Paula and Perez-Lezaun, Anna and Visser, Bert and Williams, Garrath D. and Cambon-Thomsen, Anne and EUROGENBANK consortium, The (2003) An empirical survey on biobanking of human genetic material and data in six EU countries. European Journal of Human Genetics, 11 (6). pp. 475-488. ISSN 1018-4813

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Abstract

Biobanks correspond to different situations: research and technological development, medical diagnosis or therapeutic activities. Their status is not clearly defined. We aimed to investigate human biobanking in Europe, particularly in relation to organisational, economic and ethical issues in various national contexts. Data from a survey in six EU countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK) were collected as part of a European Research Project examining human and non-human biobanking (EUROGENBANK, coordinated by Professor JC Galloux). A total of 147 institutions concerned with biobanking of human samples and data were investigated by questionnaires and interviews. Most institutions surveyed belong to the public or private non-profit-making sectors, which have a key role in biobanking. This activity is increasing in all countries because few samples are discarded and genetic research is proliferating. Collections vary in size, many being small and only a few very large. Their purpose is often research, or research and healthcare, mostly in the context of disease studies. A specific budget is very rarely allocated to biobanking and costs are not often evaluated. Samples are usually provided free of charge and gifts and exchanges are the common rule. Good practice guidelines are generally followed and quality controls are performed but quality procedures are not always clearly explained. Associated data are usually computerised (identified or identifiable samples). Biobankers generally favour centralisation of data rather than of samples. Legal and ethical harmonisation within Europe is considered likely to facilitate international collaboration. We propose a series of recommendations and suggestions arising from the EUROGENBANK project.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Human Genetics
Uncontrolled Keywords: human biobanking ; genetic collection management ; Europe ; empirical survey ; ethics ; economics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 24189
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 04 Mar 2009 09:28
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:22
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/24189

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