About us

Certification

All our biobanks are registered at the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet), a pan-Canadian biobanking consortium. JGH Central, Breast Cancer, and Gynecologic Cancer biobanks are also certified by the organization. This certification is a proof that the biobanks meet the standards set by the CTRnet, that we stay up to date with the latest guidelines through their educational program and that our samples are of high quality and reproducibility.

The JGH biobanks, with the exception of the MIRAE biobank, are supported by the Réseau de Recherche en Cancer (RRCancer) of the Fonds de Recherche du Québec en Santé (FRQS).

Here are additional description of our biobanks:

JGH Biobank

Cancer type

Director

Coordinator(s)

Central Biobank

Gastro intestinal cancer

Head and Neck cancer

Alan Spatz

Reem Merza

Breast Cancer Biobank

Breast cancer

Mark Basik

Josiane Lafleur

Adriana Aguilar

Urszula Krzemien

Gynecologic Cancer Biobank

Gynecologic cancer

Walter Gotlieb

Amber Yasmeen

Angela Tatar

Lymphoma Biobank (Leukemia Cell Bank of Quebec – lymphoma axis)

Lymphoma

Nathalie Johnson

Liliana Stoica

Mher Aghajanyan

Montreal Immune Related Adverse Events (MIRAE) Biobank

Various cancers for which immunotherapy is indicated

Marie Hudson

Christel Dias

Central Biobank

Cancer research has had an important impact on our understanding of the disease resulting in better treatment options, better outcomes, and better quality of life for patients. However, we still have a long way to go. We need to better understand how cancers begin, what causes them, how they spread, how best to treat them, the long-term effects of treatments, and resistance to treatments. To conduct such research, investigators need to study cancer cells that are derived from patients affected with these diseases. These cancer cells are found in the tumour, but may also be found in circulation in the patient’s blood or saliva. Often, researchers also need a source of normal cells from healthy tissue against which to compare the abnormal cancer cells.

The JGH Central Biobank was created to support fundamental and clinical cancer research within the Jewish General Hospital by archiving cancer specimens and their associated normal tissue, blood samples, and clinical data according to strict guidelines.

Breast Cancer Biobank

The Breast biobank contains blood and tissue samples from various breast cancer sub-types. More than 1000 patients have contributed their samples to our Breast biobank and the impact of the use of these samples is already seen at different levels. These samples are being used to investigate novel drug treatments, novel biomarkers to predict tumor response to various chemotherapies and to understand drug resistance. Novel research models have been developed such as patient derived xenografts, cell lines and organoids.  The contribution of your biological sample is important for scientists as it provides the material necessary to further understand breast cancer and to develop new treatments. In the near future, it may be possible that this research will result in the development of new clinical tools, such as early detection tests and new therapies.

Gynecologic Cancer Biobank

The Gynecologic Cancer (GC) Biobank at the Lady Davis Institute/Jewish General Hospital is a CTRNet certified specimen repository, which was initiated in 2003, and is led by Dr W. Gotlieb (principal investigator) and the Biobank coordinator (Dr. A. Yasmeen), following strict compliance with confidentiality, safety and all regulatory standards. The GC Biobank, under the JGH umbrella protocol, provides high-quality human tissues, blood and other biospecimens with related clinical information that are prospectively collected, processed, and stored for future research. GC biobank researchers have been involved in developing primary cell lines and xenografts, derived from patient samples. These tools as research models have been utilized in the  laboratory to analyze gene expression profiles, and evaluate the effect of cytotoxics, including IGF-IR kinase, PI3K, PARP and PARG inhibitors and to investigate novel treatment strategies for targeting specific types of tumors.

Lymphoma Biobank (Leukemia Cell Bank of Quebec (LCBQ) – lymphoma axis)

Numerous researchers are investigating cancers of the blood to better understand what causes them in the hope that this research will help improve the diagnosis and treatment of these cancers. To conduct their research projects, researchers need blood, bone marrow and lymph node cells from humans with leukemia and other blood cancers and so the Leukemia Cell Bank of Quebec (LCBQ) was created to support fundamental and clinical blood cancer research. Different hematological cancers are represented in the bank, including lymphomas, leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple myelomas. The bank also includes normal bone marrow and tonsils to be used as normal controls for research.

The LCBQ is located at two sites. The storage of leukemia/myeloma cells is located within the Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR) research centre and directed by Dr Josée Hébert. The storage of lymphoma cells/tissue is located within the Jewish General Hospital research centre and directed by Dr. Nathalie Johnson.

Montreal Immune Related Adverse Events (MIRAE) Biobank

The purpose of the MIRAE Biobank is to facilitate future on cancer immunotherapies and traditional autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. Cancer immunotherapy refers to various treatments that enhance the power of human immune cells to seek out and destroy cancer cells. These treatments can lead to remarkable cancer remissions, but their use is sometimes limited by significant autoimmune toxicities. The goal of the study is to answer questions such as why some patients taking a cancer immunotherapy develop immune side effects while others do not, and what are the immune mechanisms responsible for these side effects during treatment. Answering these questions will lead to the development of more personalized treatment for patients with cancer requiring immunotherapy in the future. By comparing patients with immune side effects from immunotherapy with patients with traditional autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases, we also seek to gain novel insights into naturally occurring autoimmune diseases.

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