UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The BC Generations Project as a Tumor Tissue Resource for Cancer Research Zanif, Umaimah; Chu, Jessica; Simkin, Jonathan; Dummer, Trevor J. B.; Woods, Ryan R.; Belanger, Eric; Bhatti, Parveen


Population-based cohort studies can be a resource for tumor specimens, annotated with demographic, lifestyle, and health history data, that support innovative studies of cancer. Our aim was to establish and test a process for accessing tumor samples, held at pathology laboratories around British Columbia (BC), for participants of the BC Generations Project (BCGP). Through the BC Cancer Registry, we identified pathology reports for 1100 (93%) of the 1180 incident solid cancer cases diagnosed in BCGP as of 2019. Using manually abstracted data from the reports, we successfully retrieved 183 (92%) of the 200 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks (breast, lung, bladder, and pancreas cancer cases) that we requested from pathology laboratories. No important differences in retrieval rates by cancer site, sample location (Greater Vancouver vs. Outside Greater Vancouver), sample type (biopsy vs. excision) or year of diagnosis were identified. A text mining solution recently implemented by the Registry will allow us to automate the process for data abstraction and should capture pathology reports for 100% of all newly diagnosed BCGP cancer cases moving forward. This will further enhance the utility of BCGP as a high-quality tumor tissue research resource.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0