Obtaining DNA samples in sufficient numbers and in a timely manner can be a barrier to achieving statistical relevance for research studies. Maximizing recruitment means making sample collection easy and convenient for donors. Recently the Basser Research Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania successfully used event-based collection to rapidly grow the number of participants in their research project.
DNA Genotek's Sample Collection Blog
If you’ve followed DNA Genotek for a few years or if you have ever been to one of our seminar presentations, you’ve probably heard about our involvement in the annual Spit for the Cure event. We’re proud to have been associated with this great initiative for over 5 years and even more proud of its success. Spit for the Cure is a collaborative effort between DNA Genotek, the Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and University of Arkansas breast cancer researchers Dr. Susan Kadlubar and Dr. Suzanne Klimberg. At Spit for the Cure, our Oragene product is used to collect DNA samples on site at the annual Susan G. Komen Arkansas Race for the Cure® in Little Rock, AR. The Komen Race for the Cure in Arkansas is one of the largest in the United States, with approximately 50,000 participants dedicated to raising funds for Breast Cancer research. The event is one of numerous recruitment activities over the past 5 years to collect many thousands of DNA samples to establish a biobank of samples from breast cancer survivors or their family members who are committed to finding a cure for breast cancer.
The BMC Medical Genomics Journal recently published the results of a study titled “Saliva samples are a viable alternative to blood samples as a source of DNA for high throughput genotyping”. The study examined the feasibility of collecting DNA from saliva as a non-invasive, economical substitute to DNA from blood samples for use on genome-wide arrays. The two arrays used for the study were the Applied Biosystems Taqman™ and Illumina BeadChip arrays.
Professor Gareth Evans of the University of Manchester is heading up a major research study, which is being carried out throughout Greater Manchester. 60,000 women are being invited to join a study, named PROCAS, which aims to predict breast cancer risk for women who attend routine NHS breast screening in Greater Manchester. A woman’s risk is assessed by collecting extra information on each of the most important breast cancer risk factors – family history, lifestyle factors, breast density and genetics.
Recent statistics suggest cancer mortality rates are declining due to better prevention, early detection methods and improved treatments, yet so much remains to be done. With cutting-edge research continually pushing the boundaries of science and discovery, it is not surprising that an increasing number of cancer researchers are turning to the newest tool in the DNA collection toolbox - DNA from saliva.
Every day, it seems, scientists learn something new about how our genes work. One fascinating area of research involves understanding the role of our genes in the initiation, progression and treatment of diseases; such as cancer. Understanding cancer on a molecular and genetic level makes for good science and good medicine. We understand that all cancers are not created equally. From the moment you are conceived, your genes may increase your susceptibility to developing certain cancers or, later on, your environmental exposures or other factors may cause changes in your genes that cause cancer to develop. Cancer is not one disease, but many, adding to the complexity and breadth of studies.