Biospecimens are tissue samples which contain DNA, RNA, protein, or metabolite biomarkers. Samples may be biological fluids, for example, blood (plasma/serum) or urine, cells, or solid tissue. Solid samples are acquired (biopsied) using a variety of techniques, which can be more or less invasive according to tumor location. Needle aspiration, endoscope, incision, and excision are the most common biopsy types used in cancer diagnoses.
Biomarker pre-analytical variability resulting from improper and inconsistent biospecimen acquisition, fixation, and shipment can affect the results of molecular analysis and therefore cancer research and therapeutic decisions. Therefore, proper and consistent handling of biospecimens, from collection to laboratory analysis (“Patient-to-Platform”), is of utmost importance!