Korea Biobank Network
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Asan Medical Center (AMC)
Since opening in June 1989, AMC has achieved world-class medical results owing to generous investment in clinical treatment and research and development. In addition, by practicing an attitude of “respect for life” and a “sharing attitude” with regard to the pain of the patients in its environs, the Center has fulfilled its social responsibilities as a respected hospital for seven consecutive years. In collaboration with other pioneering countries in terms of developments in the medical field, the hospital is leading medical advancement in Korea.
The AMC Bio-Resource Center was established in October 2004 as a response to the need for a centralized organization to assume the role of a biobank. The Center collects, stores, and manages human bioresources from human donors, including the tissue, body fluids, cells, and blood, and distributes these bioresources through a fair and ethical process to researchers that require them. Selected as a Regional Biobank by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2008, the Center participates in the KBP, thereby contributing to the invigoration of national policy and domestic medicine.
- 2004: Establishment of the AMC Bio-Resource Center
- 2005: Start of tissue banking
- 2006: Approval of opening of gene bank
- 2007: Migration of tissue bank to the Organ Transplant Center
- 2008: Selection as a Regional Biobank
- 2011: Affiliation with Asan Institute for Life Sciences
- 2013: Integrated into a human material bank
Status of Human Bioresources
With the active cooperation of several related treatment specialties, the AMC Bio-Resource Center processes and stores human bioresources from patients with various cancer diagnoses in 20 different organs. As of 2019, the center was storing approximately 587,000 donated samples from 106,000 cancer patients. Both tumor tissue (30,992 people/62,147 vials) and normal tissue (23,068 people/44,056 vials) are stored from cancer patients, and blood samples are stored separately as plasma (74,832 people/254,283 vials) and buffy coat (74,742 people/134,676 vials). The tissue must be processed within 120 minutes of extraction, and efforts are being made, through quarterly quality control, to ensure the high quality of the human bioresources.
Projects and Distribution Results
In the healthcare genome research and development project, studies on lung cancer (278), liver cancer (252), and breast cancer (300) were completed after receiving distribution from the Center’s bioresources; the results of these studies have been published. The Center has contributed to the research of basic and clinical professors. Moreover, it has done collaborative research with the Institute Pasteur Korea, Korean Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and Pohang University of Science and Technology. A collaborative research with the Dana Faber Cancer Center in the United States and Imperial College in the United Kingdom are currently in progress.
Public Relations and Future Plans
Efforts are underway to improve the Center’s internal publicity, such as setting up its official website and filming a publicity video within the research center. By providing the stored human bioresources to more researchers through fair and ethical methods, the Center aims to contribute to the invigoration of healthcare and basic medicine research.
Bio-Resource Center Biobank, 4th Floor, Asan Medical Center East Wing, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea (05556)
- E-mail: Asanfirstname.lastname@example.org