The leftover samples obtained during diagnostic or follow-up medical investigations represent a valuable material for research progress.

To be exploited for medical research purposes, these samples need to be collected and stored in optimal conditions. This requires a dedicated structure: the biobank.

The biobank of the university hospital CHU UCL Namur enables the daily collection of human biological samples (neoplastic or not) in the respect of ethical, legal and quality requirements. It is a very dynamic structure which aims at "printing" a sample conservation culture in the institution with a particular attention to promote collaborative research projects in parallel to its development.

The functioning of the biobank requires a close collaboration with the different actors (clinician, surgeons, anatomopathologist, ...). For this reason, Standards Operating Procedures have been set up for the collection of samples from various pathologies of interest (i.e. solid tumors, bone marrow samples, biological fluids, ....).  The standardization of procedures is also essential to ensure a high quality of the sample and to minimize variation in research results. Moreover, homogeneity of the procedures between the different biobank infrastructures is a benefit for multicentre research.

The consent of the patient is required to conserve material. The patient coming to hospital is informed about the existence of the biobank and if an intervention is planned, a clinician asks for his consent: in case of opposition, the leftover samples are not conserved; in case of consent, the samples are coded so that only the responsible persons of the biobank are able to link samples to clinical data. In this way, the anonymity of the patient is respected.

Samples are stored in a room with restricted access. The cryogenic equipment includes freezers (-20°c and  -80°C) and a gaz-phase liquid nitrogen tank (-196°C).

A temperature controlled freezer is also available and guarantees to conserve an excellent viability of cryopreserved cells. This is of great interest for the development of particular projects like the xenotransplantation of leukemic bone marrows.

Information concerning samples and associated clinical data are recorded in a data base.

The Biobanque of CHU UCL Namur is certified ISO9001:2015 since 2017. With this in mind, a quality control system is implemented to ensure the "quality" of the samples delivered to the researchers and enables our biobank to connect to national and European networks of biobanks.

Contact: Biobank Coordinator: Prof. Carlos. Graux.
Contact: Biobank Manager:  DrSc Fabienne George: