Office of the Director

Laboratory Services and Biobank Group

The Laboratory Services and Biobank (LSB) Group is placed under the Office of the Director of IARC. It provides a number of core generic services and resources used by the laboratory and epidemiology groups across the Agency.

The coordination of the LSB activities is supported by the Laboratory Steering Committee (LSC) and the Biobank Steering Committee (BSC), which assist in optimizing LSB's operational procedures.

Laboratory services
The Laboratory Services component of LSB provides laboratory support and co-ordinates laboratory activities within the Agency.

IARC laboratory services provides laboratory support to research groups, including: equipment acquisition and maintenance, a central store for commonly used items and glass washing service.

Laboratory services also promotes safe working environment and good laboratory practices by conducting information meetings for new laboratory staff on safe working procedures and Good Laboratory Practices, conducting staff training on specific laboratory procedures and best practices, and overseeing general laboratory safety (individual and collective means of protection, radioprotection, and waste management).

IARC Biobank
The biobank component of LSB is responsible for the IARC's biobank (IBB). The IBB is a repository for one of the largest international collections, containing almost 5 000 000 biological samples: 4 million from The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC) and close to one million from other collections.

IBB hosts over 50 different studies led or coordinated by IARC scientists. Study designs include case-series, prevalence studies, case-control and cohort studies, etc. It contains both population-based collections (which focus on gene-environment interactions in cancer) and disease-based collections (which focus on interactions between cancer prevention and biomarkers research). Most of the samples in the IBB are body fluids, including plasma, serum and urine as well as extracted DNA samples.
Services provided by IBB:
  • Sample reception, aliquoting, storage and retrieval;
  • DNA extraction;
  • Sample management;
  • A standardized sample management system using an in-house LIMS (SAMI); and
  • Shipment and redistribution of biological samples according to international regulations.