Tissue Banking and Serum Repository

Tissue and Serum Repository

Tissue Request Application Form (PDF) 
Tissue Bank Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded Tissue Blocks Inventory (January 2013)
Tissue Bank Frozen Tissue Samples Inventory (January 2013)
Serum Plasma and Buffy Coat Inventory by Diagnosis (January 2013)
 Plasma and Buffy Coat (Healthy Controls) Inventory (January 2013)

The Tissue and Serum Repository is established and supported by Feist-Weiller Cancer Center as a centralized core resource to facilitate and support IRB-approved cancer-related biomedical research activities that require human tissue samples. This is done through procurement, storage and distribution of tissue samples obtained from surgical resection specimens and autopsy.

Repository Services and Activities

  • examination of surgical resections and biopsy specimens by an experienced senior level pathologist to ensure proper handling of specimens so that tissue diagnosis and patients’ management are not compromised
  • project-specific procurement of fresh tissue specimens for prospective studies that require viable cells
  • project-specific procurement and storage of tissue samples – tailored to investigators' needs
  • procurement of tissue samples for general tissue banking – made available to researchers for IRB-approved studies.
  • procurement, processing, storage, and distribution of blood components
  • maintenance of a database for the tissue and blood components
  • creation and maintenance of project-specific virtual banks for investigators
  • protection of pertinent confidentiality following HIPPA guidelines and providing investigators with necessary distilled clinico-pathologic information for cancer-related research projects
  • acquisitions, storage and distribution of paraffin-embedded tissue sections of tumors and corresponding paired normal control tissues from same patients
  • assuring efficiency and standardization of tissue and blood components procurement
  • providing good quality control for the tissue samples – assures tissue samples meet stated goals
  • verification for funding organizations about the availability of specific tissue samples for proposed research projects
  • as a central core facility, the repository provides easy accessibility to tissue samples and blood components for all investigators at LSUHSCS
  • foster collaborative research efforts between basic scientists and clinicians; especially the surgeons who are major contributors of specimens to the repository

The daily operation of the repository is supervised by an experienced board-certified senior level pathologist, Elba A. Turbat-Herrera, MD. An oversight committee helps to guide policies, review service requests and appeals, and also help ensure equitable access to the repository and efficient usage of its services.

The associated Histopathology Research Laboratory provides complementary histopathology-related services, such as provision of frozen sections, H&E stained or unstained tissue sections from paraffin-embedded blocks, and other histology services. This lab also provides ancillary services such as immunohistochemistry, construction of tissue microarray (TMA), and provision of thick tissue sections for RNA/DNA retrieval.  

Charges will be at cost for Feist-Weiller Cancer Center investigators. Charges for all other investigators will be standard Dept. of Pathology rates.

 Contact Information

Elba Turbat-Herrera, MD
Department of Pathology 
School of Medicine, Room 2-329 
Telephone: 318.675.5862

Mylinh Smith
Clinical Associate
Tissue and Serum Repository
School of Medicine, Room 6-220
Telephone: 318.675.4279
Fax: 318.675.4983
Jerry McLarty, PhD 
Chair, Oversight Committee 
Feist-Weiller Cancer Center; Room B4-51 
Telephone: 318.813.1445 
Christi Eugene
Clinical Research Associate
Tissue and Serum Repository 
Feist-Weiller Cancer Center; Room B3-337
Telephone: 318.675.7628 
Fax: 318.675.8839

Accessing Paraffin-Embedded Tissue From the Pathology Department Archive 

Tissue Request Application Form (PDF)

  • A current IRB approval is an essential prerequisite for access to human tissues.
  • To access paraffin-embedded tissue from the surgical pathology archives, researchers who are not members of the Department of Pathology are strongly encouraged to find a collaborator among the surgical pathologists in the Department of Pathology that may help facilitate collection and review of cases as well as the selection and retrieval of appropriate tissue blocks. This is the best way to ensure adequate preservation of the diagnostic archival materials and also maintain the required custody.
  • For studies that require paraffin-embedded tissue from the surgical pathology clinical archives, but which involve no collaborating surgical pathologist in the Department of Pathology, the researcher can request unstained sections, H&E-stained sections, or thick slices for RNA/DNA retrieval, from paraffin blocks through the Histopathology Research Laboratory. However, the Histopathology Research Laboratory requires researchers to submit a list of cases with the surgical pathology accession numbers.
  • A limited “pathology review” is available through the Histopathology Research Laboratory as part of the service for which fees are charged. This pathology review is meant to help researchers with case reviews and block selection, and also to ensure that diagnostic tissue is still present within the sections provided to researchers. This type of review will not include more labor-intensive study-related histopathology reviews, procedures and scoring of immunostains. For projects involving these types of analyses, researchers will need to identify pathologist(s) for the necessary collaboration.
  • Under no circumstances will paraffin blocks be handed over from the surgical pathology archives to researchers outside the department. In the interests of patient care and in compliance with state and federal regulatory mandates, such as CLIA-88, and requirement of the College of American Pathologists, the department has an obligation to ensure that some diagnostic tissue remains in the paraffin blocks permanently. The staff at the Histopathology Research Laboratory will be responsible for ensuring that this occurs. Accordingly, request for slides or thick slices of tissue must be denied if the staff of the Histopathology Research Laboratory determines that this would jeopardize the future use of the archived material for patient care purposes. In such cases, researchers may be advised to modify their requests to allow for the Department's obligation to ensure that clinically relevant material that may be needed for the future care of those patients is not exhausted.
  • The Histopathology Research Laboratory requires researchers to submit a list of cases with the surgical pathology accession numbers.

Accessing Paraffin-Embedded Tissue From the Tissue Repository

In addition to the paraffin blocks in the Department of Pathology, the Tissue and Serum Repository is also collecting archival tissue samples of cases of malignant and benign tumors. These archival blocks can be accessed directly by submitting the appropriate application form to the TSR. The requested materials (slides, tissue section scrolls for molecular basic science research, etc.) will be supplied to researchers with de-identified patient information. However, researchers with IRB approval for HIPPA protected information may be provided with the information with evidence of current IRB approval.