Hematology Cell Bank of BC

The Hematology Cell Bank of British Columbia (HCB) was established in September of 2005 to collect and store human biospecimens and related clinical data for scientific research into blood disease and malignancies. The objective of the Hematology Cell Bank of BC is to bring into practice the principles of translational research by encouraging open collaboration between scientists and clinicians, directly impacting the health outcomes of hematology patients.

The HCB represents a partnership between clinicians and staff of the Leukemia / Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC, research scientists at the Terry Fox Laboratory, and collaborating scientists around the world. Specimens from consented patients and healthy donors are collected  for researcher use. Access to specimen related clinical data is also available. Storage, processing and laboratory technician support is provided by the Stem Cell Assay Laboratory located at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre.

The HCB is governed by a research ethics board approved protocol that outlines its operation and the scope of research permitted.  Hematology Cell Bank operation is overseen by an advisory and research working group made up of clinician and researcher members. All specimens collected by the HCB and released for researcher use meet Research Ethics Board (REB) approval.

Specimens collected include:

  • Blood
  • Bone marrow biopsy material
  • Harvested bone marrow
  • Peripheral blood stem cells
  • Excess leukapheresis product

Specimens are collected throughout the patient’s treatment period and include diagnostic, follow-up, remission and relapse samples.

Stored specimens are available to researchers actively participating in hematology research. Disease specific Hematology Working Group members oversee the use of specimen resources.

The scope of research includes:

  • Normal cell production and differences between normal and leukemic blood cell
  • Genetic and cellular events which lead to disease in normal cells
  • Genetic modification of blood cells and leukemic blood cells
  • Stem Cell Transplant
  • Methods of improving transfusion support and increasing blood production in the body
  • Treatments/Agents superiority with respect to efficacy and preservation of normal cells
  • Methods for ex vivo blood cell production

Hematology Cell Bank of British Columbia
Nerkeza Andjelic MD, MHA, CCRP
Coordinator, HCB
Tel: 604-875-4111 ext. 69517
Fax: 604-875-5552

Stem Cell Assay Lab
Helen Chan, Section Head
Tel: 604-675-8000 Ext. 7746

Researchers affiliated with the BC Cancer Agency and its collaborating scientific institutions should contact the Hematology Cell Bank coordinator and/or Stem Cell Assay Lab manager for assistance in accessing biospecimens.

Researchers not affiliated with the BC Cancer Agency or its collaborating scientific institutions should contact directly a BC Cancer Agency Clinical Researcher (hematology research) to discuss their research proposal and access to biospecimens.

Specimens available for use are listed on a password protected catalogue provided quarterly under Forms and Documentation.  Researchers should contact the HCB coordinator to apply for a password.