An article was recently published in the Medical Review of Chile with senior author María Elena Cabrera of El Salvador Hospital, Santiago, about the potential for developing a biobanking network within the country.
According to the authors Chile has a unique opportunity to develop biobanks. The country has geographical, climatic, ethnic and socio-demographic diversity. This creates distinct epidemiological profiles in at least 5 macro-zones.
The authors envisage that such a biobanking network would generate accurate health data to establish appropriate policies for prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. From the point of view of the authors this will allow Chile to make a “quantum leap” in public health implementation, bringing Chile amongst the most developed in the world.
The first Chilean biobank, a tumor bank, was founded in Temuco in 2004, at the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad de la Frontera. Nine biobanks for research are now established. There are three private sector biobanks: (i) the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), which is associated with the Project “Chile-BILS” (Chilean Biliary Longitudinal Study (ii) Clínica Alemana de Santiago (iii) another emerging from the Arturo López Pérez Cancer Foundation.
There are 6 biobanks associated with public institutions: (i) Hospital Sótero del Río; (ii) Hospital of El Salvador; (iii) Hospital Luis Calvo Mackenna; (iv) Universidad de la Frontera; (v) Universidad de Chile and (vi) Hospital de Molina. In addition, the biobank of the Hospital San Borja Arriarán was in operation, but at present its samples are stored at the Universidad de Chile.
In regards to oncology the authors believe the biobanking network can enable the 4Ps of Leroy Hood: Predictive, personalized, preventive, participatory cancer medicine.
“[Local and foreign collaboration are essential to growth in the number of data and thus to obtain better conclusions. This cooperation also provides an opportunity to agree on protocols and to exchange human resource formation to guarantee the quality of the operation of a biobank],” [translation] wrote the authors