The first virtual biobank dedicated to prostate cancer research has been launched in the UK by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).

The UK prostate cancer sample collection database will house details of around 10,000 biological samples from both men with and without prostate cancer.

The data, which will be anonymous, will also include DNA, RNA, blood and urine and will provide information how cancers have responded to treatment.

Institute of Cancer Research specialist and lead developer Dr Daniel Brewer said that until now, UK prostate cancer scientists have generally been limited to conducting research on patient samples they could acquire themselves or through collaborations they forged themselves.

“This biobank will help improve scientists’ access to precious samples and hence increase the accuracy of results and make new discoveries more likely,” he said.

The database has been developed by The ProMPT (prostate cancer mechanisms of progressions and treatment) Collaborative and the Southern Prostate Cancer Collaborative, which are funded by NCRI partners.

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