Our mission is to support clinical, translational, and basic research focused on gynecologic malignancies through collecting, storing, and releasing biospecimens by way of evidence-based protocols. With the ever-increasing need for personalized medicine, an established biorepository of patient-derived gynecologic cancer specimens will aid the discovery and translation of novel basic science findings and foster collaboration.
Who We Are
Spearheaded by Dr. David Mutch in 1992, the Gynecologic Oncology Tissue Bank has accumulated specimens from over 3,000 endometrial cancer and 1,500 ovarian cancer patients. In July 2022, the Tissue Bank was revitalized under the direction of Dr. Mary Mullen to ensure it continued to support state-of-the-art research, evolved with current technologies, and maintained a nationally renowned reputation. This revival included the expansion of the team to include 4 full-time staff-members including a director who is a gynecologic oncology physician scientist, a senior research coordinator, and 2 clinical laboratory technicians. This team collaborates with 9 practicing gynecologic oncologists at Washington University who together surgically care for 500 patients annually.
As a result of new standard operating procedures, enrollment has exponentially increased and the Tissue Bank has been expanded to include patient-derived organoids, circulating tumor DNA, plasma, serum, frozen tissue, optimal cutting temperature embedded tissue (OCT), and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPE) with current plans to also include patient derived xenografts (PDX). Tissue obtained via the biorepository has been used for genomic analyses, proteomic analyses, metabolic analyses, serum marker analyses, and traditional, single-cell, and spatial transcriptomic analyses. Additionally, the recent renewal of the Tissue Bank included the development of a novel REDCap database to track every patient treated by our gynecologic oncology team in order to expand accessibility to research data, support diverse research questions, and to narrow the racial and social inequities of our patients.
The Tissue Bank is committed to supporting cancer research by offering human biological specimens to the Washington University research community as well as national and international researchers. We are able to collaborate with researchers and institutes such as the NCI, NIH and NRG to support cancer research, prevention, treatment, and inequities. In addition to specimen collection, the biorepository also provides lab support for clinical trials and academic research. With the resources from the Tissue Bank, physicians and scientists are able to take their exploration of the roots of gynecologic cancers to the next level resulting in improved outcomes for patients with gynecologic malignancies.
2. Specimen Collection Workflow
3. Organoid Generation Workflow
Specimen Collection To-Date
Standard Operating Procedures
For a description of the Tissue Bank’s processes and protocols, our Lab Manual can be found here: Gynecologic Oncology Tissue Bank Lab Manual.
Research Electronic Data Capture – REDCap
A custom database has been developed by our team to capture a comprehensive list of clinical data correlated with specimens collected under the Tissue Bank. This is a continuing review process that documents the following information:
- Medical history
- Cancer type
- A histologic subtype, grade, stage
- Somatic and germline mutations
- Treatment course and response
- Patient outcome
Publications & Conferences
- Gyn Onc Tissue Bank Best Practices – Division Presentation
- JoVE Publication – Generation and Culturing of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer Patient-Derived Organoids
- The Center for Genome Integrity Retreat (2023) – Poster Presentation
* Honorary Mention Award
- OSCON22 (2022) – Open Specimen Presentation
- The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)
- Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium 3 (CPTAC 3)
- Washington University Investigators:
- Li Ding, PhD
- Priyanka Verma, PhD
- Kelly Bolton, MD, PhD
- Alessandro Vindigni, PhD
- Gwendalyn Randolph, PhD
- Julie Schwarz, PhD
Specimen Acquisition Rates
How to Reach Us
For questions, comments or interest in establishing a collaboration please contact: