Biological Samples

The CanPath Biosamples Collection
Number of participants who provided biosample Total
Venous blood 145,760
Urine 99,500
Blood Spots 10,642
Saliva 18,799
DNA source material 159,266
Overview of Available Biological Samples

Biological samples were donated near the time of enrollment or during a subsequent sample collection campaign. Biological samples available for access include serum, plasma, DNA, red blood cells, cryo-preserved whole blood, and urine samples. When participant donated a sample to CanPath, a sample donation questionnaire about the physical state of the participant at the time of donation that may influence markers in the blood and/or urine was administered. The time since last meal was recorded at the time of blood donation. Urine samples were collected at a random time of day. If a participant was unable to provide a blood sample due to medical or geographical reasons, a saliva sample or blood spot was sought whenever possible.

Biological Sample Collection

All blood samples were collected from participants via arm venipuncture into Becton Dickinson vacutainer tubes as per manufacture instructions. Serum was collected in a SST tube. Plasma, buffy coat and red blood cells were collected in a K2EDTA tube. In a subset of participants, PST-plasma and ACD whole blood were collected.

Urine, when requested, was collected in a sterile cup without preservatives. Saliva samples were collected, often at the participant's home, in an Oragene™ saliva kit. Blood spots were collected at the participant's home using a Whatman® 903 card.

Biological Sample Shipping

For blood and urine samples processed and aliquoted onsite at the phlebotomy collection location, samples were shipped and transported frozen at -80oC. For those phlebotomy collection sites without onsite biological sample aliquoting services, biological samples were shipped and transported in batches to be received by the regional processing lab often the same day or the next day. Spun-SST, spun-PST, EDTA and urine samples were shipped on ice while ACD samples were shipped and transported at ambient temperature.

Saliva and blood spot samples were shipped at ambient temperature.

Long Term Biological Sample Storage

Blood and urine samples are stored at -80oC or at -190oC. DNA is stored at -20oC or colder. Oragene™ saliva samples are stored at ambient temperature as per the manufacturer's suggested storage.

Legacy Biological Samples

A portion of each participant's biological sample is reserved for Legacy. Studies requiring access to Legacy biological samples will require further evaluation as they represent the last available amount for a given biological sample. Such studies must be unable to use other biological samples within the biobank and are of exceptional scientific merit and cannot be answered using another readily available resource.

Applying for Biological Sample Access

Researchers interested in accessing CanPath biosamples are encouraged to review the biosample guidelines and feasibility review criteria, as well as to contact the Access Office with any questions prior to completing and submitting the CanPath Data and Material Access Application Form. The CanPath Sample Order Request Workbook is available to assist you with identifying your operational requirements and available support from CanPath.

Biological Sample Release to Approved Users

Most biological samples were initially stored in large volumes to reduce the required amount of freezer space. Biological samples will be thawed and sub-aliquoted prior to release to approved users. Biological samples will be released in 0.5 mL ThermoMatrix® tubes placed in ThermoMatrix® racks (8X12 format). DNA samples can also be supplied in plates upon request.

Biological Sample Shipment to Approved Users

Biological samples will be shipped, to approved users at their designated laboratory, when ready. Only couriers that meet CanPath shipping requirements will be selected for service. Scheduling arrangements will be made prior to shipping. Upon receipt of biological samples, the approved user is required to confirm their receipt within 24 hours.

Return of Sample Derived Data from Approved Users

Approved Users are asked to return both initial (raw) and final (analyzed) data to CanPath. The data will be used to enrich the content of the CanPath database as per CanPath's Access Policy. To help others interpret the data accurately the characteristics of the dataset needs to be clearly defined. To assist in this manner, CanPath has developed a Derived Data Reporting Templates Derived Data Report Template_Analyte Data / Derived Data Report Template_Genetic Data. The template is to be used by Approved Users to present the dataset's quality parameters and is to be returned with the derived data. As the templates are designed to capture universal information common to multiple methodologies, additional information may be requested by CanPath as assessed on a project-by-project basis. CanPath recommends that all sample measurements follow good laboratory practices and that the Derived Data Reporting Template be reviewed and experiments planned accordingly to capture the requested variables.