Studies using fresh-frozen tissue samples originating from different centres, as is often the case in EORTC related translational research, can show conflicting research results due to heterogeneity in the quality of samples and associated data from each centre. The development of infrastructure for the European Human Frozen Tumour Tissue Bank (TuBaFrost) anticipated this problem and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been developed to ensure samples collected are of consistent high quality and variation in research results is minimised. The SOPs drew on the best practice standard workflows and operating procedures employed by members of the TuBaFrost Consortium and key tissue bank initiatives worldwide. It was essential to provide workable solutions that reflect the variety in infrastructure and resources at the potential collecting centres and also the fact that it is not necessary to standardise every step of the collection and storage process in order to collect high quality tissue. Hence, the TuBaFrost SOPs detail the compulsory measures that must be implemented in order to become a TuBaFrost collecting centre and also make advisory recommendations regarding the less critical factors. Accordingly, the TuBaFrost SOPs are very flexible and to illustrate this the complete SOP for collecting, freezing and storing tissue at the Erasmus MC Tissue Bank is included. These TuBaFrost SOPs could equally be applicable to centres collecting samples for EORTC related translational research studies in order to standardise sample quality and produce reliable and reproducible research results.

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Keywords Bio-repository, Frozen tissue, Multi-centre studies, Quality assurance, Standard Operating Procedure, Tissue bank
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Mager, S.R., Oomen, M.H.A., Morente, M.M., Ratcliffe, C., Knox, K., Kerr, D., … Riegman, P.H.J.. (2007). Standard operating procedure for the collection of fresh frozen tissue samples. European Journal of Cancer, 43(5), 828–834. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2007.01.002