While a biopsy can provide valuable information about how your tumor is responding today, the boundaries of our current knowledge limit what researchers can evaluate and glean from your tissue sample. But that won’t always be the case. As science advances, so too does our understanding of what we see under the microscope…and in DNA.
Serial biopsies are a set of biopsies taken at different times during the course of therapy. A series of biopsies provides insight on whether a treatment is working and how the cancer changes in response to the therapy. Often, this is some of the most valuable data collected during a clinical trial.
It’s important to know that maintaining your privacy is a top priority. You can restrict access to specific researchers or organizations. And contributing to a tissue bank will not impact things like your children’s ability to secure health insurance.
You may be asked for your permission to bank your tissue samples so that more information might one day be gathered from them. As science progresses, researchers can then pull up older biopsies for further study.
Science is progressing so rapidly, tissue banking affords us the opportunity to study more cancers more rapidly.
While some people are open to scientists using their cancer cells for any research that might save anybody’s life at any time, other people may want to be more restrictive. There are protections in place for both instances.