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Laboratory Support, Biobanking, and Services (LSB)


The activities of LSB are largely divided into two main aspects: (i) services for research undertaken at IARC, and (ii) research undertaken by LSB within its areas of expertise and scope. The research activities of LSB are presented here.

LMICs Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet)

  • BCNet arose from the realization that despite improvements in high-income countries, population cohorts and biobanking facilities are either underdeveloped or non-existent in LMICs. In this context and in line with IARC’s mission to contribute to worldwide cancer research, BCNet was established as an opportunity for LMICs to work together in a coordinated and effective manner and jointly address the many challenges in biobanking infrastructure, including ethical, legal, and social issues. In addition, BCNet facilitates the sharing of resources (e.g. expertise and protocols) and the development of joint projects, strengthening the competitiveness of LMIC research infrastructures and biobanks in applying for international funding.
  • BCNet research, in collaboration with BCNet partners and members, focuses on three axes: (i) the development of validated, harmonized protocols customized for LMICs (including innovations, for example in automation and digital health), (ii) research on ethical, legal, and social aspects of biobanking, and (iii) research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on biobanking and overall support of research activities.

Research on biobank education, protocols, and guidelines (HEAP and ARICE)

  • The Human Exposome Assessment Platform (HEAP) provides an extensive toolkit to analyse and interpret the many environmental exposures that individuals experience, and the impact that those exposures would have on their future health. The role of LSB, under the leadership of the Learning and Capacity-Building Branch, is to use the knowledge emerging from this project and transform it into educational materials, protocols, and guidelines to be made available to a global research audience.
  • The Twinning for the Armenian Research Infrastructure on Cancer Research (ARICE) project provides an opportunity for partners from IARC, Austria, and Czechia to join forces and support the creation of infrastructure for cancer research in Armenia. The experience of IARC working across international and regional borders will be a key element in introducing international guidelines to the Armenian research infrastructure context.

Research on research infrastructures (EPTRI and IMCOCA)

  • Precision medicine research is based on the analysis of biological samples together with clinical data. Because the associations are often weak, these samples are needed in large quantities. The implication is clear: the more well-characterized, high-quality samples are available through biobanks and other research infrastructures, the faster research will advance, resulting in the faster delivery of precision health care.

  • The European Paediatric Translational Research Infrastructure (EPTRI) aims to propose developmental models for a future research infrastructure focused on paediatric medicines, integrating technology-driven aspects with clinical trials. LSB participates in research concerning the ethical, legal, and social aspects of creating such a research infrastructure.

  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer (IMCOCA), a Projet Structurant funded by Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (CLARA), aims to: (i) describe the experiences of health-care providers and researchers on the adaptability of laboratory guidelines and recommendations published during the COVID-19 pandemic, and (ii) characterize the dependence of the adaptability of such guidelines on the local context.



Laboratory Support, Biobanking, and Services
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