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England Opens First Tissue Bank For Mesothelioma

Papworth Hospital, which is part of Cambridge University Health Partners, has opened the first ‘Mesobank.’ This facility will be used collect anonymous tissue samples from patients with Mesothelioma. The tissue samples will be used for research and testing in an attempt to further the treatment of Mesothelioma and hopefully find a cure for this extremely aggressive form of cancer.

Although Mesothelioma is rare in England, with only about 2,300 cases diagnosed each year, they have the highest diagnostic and mortality rate per capita than any other place in the world. The mortality rate for this disease is extremely high, and the alarming number of newly diagnosed cases per year has become a problem in this country.

Dr. Robert Rintoul is the physician in charge of the new Mesobank at Papworth Hospital. He feels that Mesothelioma has been a neglected form of cancer as far as research and studies go. The purpose of the tissue bank is to allow easier access to samples for the purposes of testing and research to find more affordable, quicker, and more effective treatment options.

The way in which the tissues will be stored and categorized will allow researchers to build a “Tissue Mircoarray,” according to representatives from the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund. This will in turn make it easier and more affordable for scientists and researchers to test hundreds of samples simultaneously.

The Mesobank also has a goal of collecting blood and fresh tumor samples from at least 300 patients over the next three years. This is necessary because some types of testing require the tumor samples to be fresh and new.

The Mesobank plans to offer 20 cell lines for Mesothelioma. The bank will be accepting blood and tissue samples from scientists and doctors from across the United Kingdom. Up to this point in time, research has been limited to samples that can be obtained by focus groups of research patients assigned to a particular study.

The Mesobank will allow for longer studies and more in depth research over time, which is not always a viable option for Mesothelioma patients. It is the goal of doctors, scientists, and researchers to develop helpful treatment options that increase the quality of life, and prolong the lives of Mesothelioma patients. The long term goal for all of these groups is to develop a cure for this aggressive and deadly cancer. Mesothelioma cases continue to grow and this disease is claiming way to many lives across the globe each and every year. The goal of the Mesobank is to help stop this trend and start reversing it.