Semmelweis University – OnkoBank

Head of Biobank: Dr. Balázs Győrffy
Telephone: +36 30 514 2822

Semmelweis OnkoBank was founded in 2021 at the Department of Bioinformatics of Semmelweis University in Budapest. We focus on cancer patients hospitalized in our partner institutes. OnkoBank includes twelve Hungarian and one German (Asklepios Hamburg) partner institutes and systematically collect biological samples and relevant clinical data. However, we are looking for new academic partners and are eager to expand our network both nationwide and at an international level. In order to gain enough data for patient follow-up, the operation of OnkoBank was planned to last many decades. We estimate to obtain and store more than 30,000 tumor (and normal) tissues in a 10 years’ perspective.

Our goal was to establish a nationally unique infrastructure for the collection, long-term storage, and analysis of tumor tissues, blood samples, clinical and biological patient data.

A wide variety of tumor types are being collected along with matched blood samples – regardless of patients’ gender and age. With the involvement of clinical staff (nurses, oncologists, pathologists, surgeons), patient administration and sample collection can be carried out smoothly. Samples from patients with different malignant tumors are provided as fresh frozen or FFPE (Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded) specimen by the pathologic institutes. These samples are used in studies approved by proper authorities. By using genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic methods, we can investigate diagnostic, predictive and prognostic biomarkers. By utilizing bioinformatics tools and laboratory methods (both developed and conducted in our Department), we can investigate these biomarkers. Our results facilitate the understanding of tumor heterogeneity at the population-, individual-, and tissue levels, which contribute to distinct therapeutic efficiency and survival. Furthermore, we have set up a personal and survival data collection system, using a highly reliable EDC (Electronic Data Capture) software, with full implementation of privacy policy and data protection (GDPR) requirements. Coded biological samples are preserved at the OnkoBank as ‘Archived Tissue Collection’ under -180°C in liquid nitrogen vapor.

We believe that by sharing and uniting protocols, samples and data between researchers, academic and health care staff, a new era of molecular oncology can be established in Hungary.