Victorian Cancer Biobank Manage 400,000+ Biospecimens with OpenSpecimen

Maggie Ling, Data Systems Manager at the Victorian Cancer Biobank working with OpenSpecimen.

The Victorian Cancer Biobank (VCB) is a crucial part of the medical research landscape supporting researchers throughout Australia and around the world with the aim of delivering better clinical outcomes to people suffering with cancer. With a library of over 400,000 specimens they turned to OpenSpecimen to manage their inventory in 2016 and upgraded to v6.3 in 2020. 

VCB is a consortium of five major health precincts in Victoria (26 hospitals within the network) including Austin Health, Eastern Health, Melbourne Health, Monash Health and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Cancer Council Victoria as the lead agency. The VCB supports cancer researchers by collecting and distributing tissue samples. Established in 2006, they have received donations from over 34,000 Victorians undergoing cancer and other surgeries, with most specimens collected before 2015 and having a minimum of five years of follow-up clinical information making them extremely valuable to researchers.

With such a large inventory, including samples of various types and formats spread across multiple locations, VCB needed a flexible, easily configurable LIMS platform that would also allow them to provide quick specimen turnaround times. OpenSpecimen was able to deliver this as well as providing a secure, web-based, extensible system backed by reliable, professional support.

Speaking about their experience with OpenSpecimen for managing their library of biospecimens, Maggie Ling, Data Systems Manager at VCB said, “the Krishagni team was very helpful, patient and responsive, taking the time to understand our needs and always keeping us informed during the implementation process. They were also able to build a custom edit checks module to our requirements and the recent upgrade have allowed us to integrate our specimen catalogue into our website. OpenSpecimen has met our expectations and we have happily recommended it to other biobanks.”

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VCB’s online catalogue can be accessed at any time at https://viccancerbiobank.org.au/for-researchers/specimen-catalogue/ where the OpenSpecimen engine provides access to the entire library of biospecimens and status updates, all in real-time.

Other OpenSpecimen features that were key to VCB’s decision to implement it were custom forms that allow improved management of datacapture and entry; specimen catalogue that can be configured for public access; reporting features; and dashboards that provide real time status updates.

The Victorian Cancer Biobank team.

Krishagni Solutions’ OpenSpecimen is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by AXT PTY LTD.

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OpenSpecimen is a comprehensive web-based biobank informatics platform used to to track specimens from collection to utilization with 100% audit trail. It is today used in 65+ top clinical research centers across USA, Australia and rest of the globe. OpenSpecimen enables biobanks to collect “high quality” biospecimen annotations data across longitudinal studies or prospective collections of clinical specimens. It can be easily integrated with applications like EPIC, REDCap, OpenSpecimen, Cerner, LIMS, in-house clinical databases, etc.