Discarding patients’ cancer samples because of problems with consent processes forgoes potential advances in cancer research, ignores public intent and squanders unique bioresources
Cancers are highly variable — between different types of cancer, between different patients’ cancers and even between different cancer cells within an individual patient’s cancer.1 A critical challenge facing cancer research and therapy is to understand and overcome the heterogeneity of each patient’s cancer. Resected tumours and other samples donated by patients with cancer provide invaluable bioresources for the study of cancer heterogeneity. While animal models and in vitro studies generate therapeutic hypotheses, only confirmation in human cancers can ratify targets as relevant to pursue into the clinic.
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