Posts Tagged ‘Human Tissue Act’

Joint CELS/HEAL event: 16 December 2011

In 2011, Human tissue, Meetings on December 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

On Friday 16 December, 1-2.30pm, in room 2209, building 85 (Life Sciences, Highfield), we have a joint CELS/HEAL seminar led by Jessica Wright on The Human Tissue Act 2004 and Tissue Research in England: Does the Act promote the harmonisation of cancer tissue banks?      All are welcome.

Abstract: International calls have been made for organisations that collect, store and transport human tissue samples for research purposes to standardise their practices to enable more effective scientific collaboration.  Cooperation between cancer tissue banks could encourage higher quality samples and data, allow larger, more powerful research projects to take place, and provide opportunities for rare cancers to be studied. Despite this, lack of standardisation and non-cooperation remain the prominent features of the field. This study aims to identify the barriers and facilitators to cooperation.


Preliminary results identify the Human Tissue Act and related system (HTA) as the relevant legal standard in England, so it is important to ask whether it promotes the harmonisation of cancer tissue banks. To an extent, the HTA has promoted harmonisation, for example through the introduction of the Research Tissue Bank approval system and compulsory standards that improve tissue quality. But there are concerns that the HTA impedes harmonisation by costing money to implement, holding-up tissue collection, obliging researchers to dispose of valuable samples, causing confusion and marginalising pathologists. In conclusion, while improving aspects of the system implemented by the HTA would help the harmonisation of cancer tissue banks, further standards are also needed.