About Our Samples

“Our limited understanding of the biology and developmental genetics of the normal mammary gland is a barrier to progress.” So states the report by the Breast Cancer Progress Review Group, which in 1998 compiled a list of 13 critical areas of breast cancer research and care in which “greater emphasis is now imperative.” Surmounting this particular barrier to progress is the raison d’etre of the Susan G. Komen® Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center (Komen Tissue Bank, or KTB).

It is a goal of the Komen Tissue Bank to acquire biomolecules and tissue specimens from the entire continuum of breast development from puberty to menopause. The KTB collects the following types of samples: fresh frozen tissue, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue; blood products including whole blood, plasma, serum, and DNA from lymphocytes. The samples are collected, processed, and stored following stringent SOP’s modeled from the NCI Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR) Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources and from the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources.

It is critically important that scientists use these specimens to conduct research which will provide insight into breast oncogenesis. We welcome researchers wishing to request our samples for this purpose.

Proposals are accepted three times per year: on or before February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15. You can download our Tissue Request Proposal Form PDF for more information.

The Komen Tissue Bank is now processing some samples through a cryopreservation method.

There are several cell lines that have been cultivated from KTB cryopreserved breast tissue samples by Komen Tissue Bank Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Hari Nakshatri that are available for use by breast cancer researchers.  These cell lines represent normal counterparts of intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer and are enriched for luminal progenitor cells (CD49f+/EpCAM+) and express luminal markers such as FOXA1 and GATA3. PROCR+/EpCAM- cell lines are also available. These cell lines can be transformed with defined set of oncogenes. If you are interested in learning more about these cell lines, please contact Rana German at rgerman@iu.edu.

The Komen Tissue Bank has recently published a single cell atlas of the normal breast (Cell Reports Medicine 2, 100219).  A searchable dataset is available at this link.  Investigators are encouraged to verify the expression of gene of their interest in the normal breast before requesting tissues for mRNA or protein expression analysis.

Learn more about research that has been published using samples from the Komen Tissue Bank.

"I am a cancer researcher! I have worked to get 1 drug approved so far in Breast Cancer. I also lost my college roommate to breast cancer two years ago. My life—my passion is dedicated to cancer! But the blessing is all mine to be part of the mission to a cure."

- Andrea Stow, Researcher

The Komen Tissue Bank is supported by gifts-in-kind from: The Catherine Peachey Fund Vera Bradley Shelle Design Incorporated Hologic Bright Ideas