Creating a Surgical Biobank: The Hershey Medical Center Experience

Marc M. Mankarious, Tara M. Connelly, Leonard Harris, Sue Deiling, Gregory S. Yochum, Walter A. Koltun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Tissue harvesting at the time of surgery offers surgeons and scientists a unique opportunity to discover and better understand disease pathophysiology. Tissue biobanking presents challenges in patient consents, specimen collection, preparation, and storage, but the potential for scientific discovery justifies the effort. Although the number of tissue biobanks is increasing worldwide, information regarding necessary infrastructure, process flow, and management of expected obstacles is lacking. OBJECTIVE: To provide a framework and motivation for clinician scientists intending to start an intestinal tissue biobank under their direction. DATA SOURCES: The Carlino Family Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases Biobank is housed at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. STUDY SELECTION: Review. INTERVENTION: Implementation of a surgical tissue biobank at a large tertiary care institution. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Assess critical challenges and obstacles over the years as well as keys to the success of the program. RESULTS: Over 2 decades, the institutional biobank grew from an IBD biobank to one which now incorporates thousands of surgical specimens representing numerous colorectal diseases. This was done through a process of refinement focusing on patient recruitment and an efficient consenting and specimen management process. The biobank's success is further insured by institutional, external, and philanthropic support; scientific collaborations; and sharing of biological specimens with other groups of dedicated researchers. LIMITATIONS: This is a single-center experience in collecting surgically resected colorectal specimens. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical specimen biobanks are essential in studying disease cause using genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomic technologies. Therefore, surgeons, clinicians, and scientists should build biobanks at their institutions to promote further scientific discovery and improve specimen diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1184
Number of pages11
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology

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