.

Cooperative Human Tissue Network, Western Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Other FAQs?

If you have department specific questions, please review our other FAQs here

General FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for my application to be approved and when will I receive my first sample(s)?

What if I have a rare tumor type that I'm requesting?

Do you have banked specimens available for retrospective studies?

Is there a maximum gram weight of tissue I can request?

Can I request additional clamshells and pre-printed labels with the tissue I receive?

Why am I required to accept specimens?

What information comes with the specimen?


1. How long does it take for my application to be approved and when will I receive my first sample(s)?

An application submitted with complete information typically takes 2-3 business days to review.   If the application has been approved, we begin prospective procurement or may assign any available banked segments to you.   It usually takes between 2-3 weeks to receive the first shipment. 

If your application is lacking any of the components needed for completion, the application will be in pending status until we receive the necessary documents. We will not begin procurement until all the documents are received.

If you were informed that your request would be considered "difficult to serve", the procurement process will  take longer.  Your coordinator will be able to advise you of the complications of your request and may offer ideas that will make the request easier to fill.  You may also be directed to alternative sources.

2. What if I have a rare tumor type that I'm requesting?

We will review your requests and be available to discuss possible options or alternative sources if we feel that we can not meet your needs.  Please see the  "Links" on our main page.  This link provides investigators with other possible sources and some suggestions for obtaining the needed tissues.

Because all CHTN sites operate through a shared network, you will have access to a many sources. 

3. Do you have banked specimens available for retrospective studies?

CHTN does not operate as a "tissue bank", but rather a prospective procurement service.  However, we do keep a very small bank of samples available for investigators needing a small amount of tissue quickly, among other reasons. 

The Pediatrics division of CHTN does bank specimens and, in turn has access to many different type of tumors and tissues that the adult division do not typically see.  They may also have access to a very wide range of normal and diseased tissues.  If you are inquirying about Pediatrics tissue and adult tissue through CHTN, you may submit your application to the coordinator that services your geographical location.  The requests will then be forwarded to the Pediatrics division for possible fulfillment.

4. Is there a maximum gram weight of tissue I can request?

This is dependent upon the anatomic site and the tissue type (malignant, benign, normal, disease) being requested.  Because research has yeilded better prognostic markers, development of technology to detect tumors earlier,  and better treatment options, the size of the tumors are becoming smaller and smaller.  For this reason, research technology has mirrored this trend and investigators now have access to technology that will allow them to utilize smaller tissues.

Patient diagnosis will always come first with any remaining renmant tissue being given to research.  For this reason, we do ask the investigator to take this into account when requesting large gram weight samplesThese will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

5. Can I request additional clamshells and pre-printed labels with the tissue I receive?

Yes, but we will need to be adivsed of this before shipment.  We supply pre-printed labels on freezer safe stickers for the following reasons:

A.  As a courtesy to the investigator to help minimize errors that can occur by incorrectly labeling or transposing numbers on specimens by lab personnel.  This also gives the investigators lab personnel an extra label to use on experimental tubes or in lab notebooks.

B.  CHTN Western supplies only the Anatomic Site, Tissue type, A/S/R on the receptacle.  This is written on the receptacle at the time of procurement, and is only a "gross" description of the tissue.  A representative piece of the tissue is sent to our pathologist for review.  The pathologists QA will always override the collection description.  Because we do not want to compromise the integrity of the specimen(increase the chance of temperature changes that may have a negative impact on the tissue) by re-labeling the receptacle, we choose to pre-print the label with the QA information on it. 

6. Why am I required to accept specimens?

CHTN operates as a prospective procurement facility where specimens are procured for you based on your request list.  We certainly understand funding restrictions, but we require that you accept any specimens that were procured for you during the time your requests were active.  You may at any time place your requests on hold for a specified period of time, but any specimens collected for you until the notification of on hold status, we require that you accept.

If your project has been completed and you wish to inactivate the request, any specimens that were collected prior to your inactivation, you will be requested to receive.

 7. What information comes with the specimen?

You will receive a scrubbed (identifiers removed) pathology report.   If you require information about the donor that is not on typically found on a final pathology report, we may be able to access the patient information.   Accessing patient information would be considered a "chart review" and is associated with a cost of $40.00 or $40.00/hour depending on the information requested.