Genetic testing and tissue banking for personalized oncology: Analytical and institutional factors

George Miles, James Rae, Suresh S. Ramalingam, John Pfeifer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Personalized oncology, or more aptly precision oncogenomics, refers to the identification and implementation of clinically actionable targets tailored to an individual patient's cancer genomic information. Banking of human tissue and other biospecimens establishes a framework to extract and collect the data essential to our understanding of disease pathogenesis and treatment. Cancer cooperative groups in the United States have led the way in establishing robust biospecimen collection mechanisms to facilitate translational research, and combined with technological advances in molecular testing, tissue banking has expanded from its traditional base in academic research and is assuming an increasingly pivotal role in directing the clinical care of cancer patients. Comprehensive screening of tumors by DNA sequencing and the ability to mine and interpret these large data sets from well-organized tissue banks have defined molecular subtypes of cancer. Such stratification by genomic criteria has revolutionized our perspectives on cancer diagnosis and treatment, offering insight into prognosis, progression, and susceptibility or resistance to known therapeutic agents. In turn, this has enabled clinicians to offer treatments tailored to patients that can greatly improve their chances of survival. Unique challenges and opportunities accompany the rapidly evolving interplay between tissue banking and genomic sequencing, and are the driving forces underlying the revolution in precision medicine. Molecular testing and precision medicine clinical trials are now becoming the major thrust behind the cooperative groups' clinical research efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-723
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


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