Why do researchers need access to my surplus tissue?
First, it is important for you to know that when we talk about surplus tissue we mean anything that is left over from your routine medical care - no extra procedures are ever involved in obtaining 'surplus tissue'.
Doctors and scientists need human tissue for medical research. Research is any activity that aims to discover new facts about a disease. It includes things like looking down a microscope and analysing proteins, DNA and other molecules in the tissue.
The tissue you donate may be used in all these aspects of research. In addition your tissue may be used in research with animals to model disease processes and in the creation of cell lines where your cells could be grown and cared for in a laboratory for multiple experiments possibly over months and years.
If samples are collected at different stages of a disease, it helps to understand how a disease or problem starts or develops. They can also try out different drugs and tests on the tissue. They may find new medicines or treatments. They may also find new ways of diagnosing a disease earlier.
It is important to highlight to you that any research that uses this tissue will conform to strict UK guidelines and regulations.
How can I get involved in research/clinical trials?
The research on your tissue will normally have nothing to do with your own care or treatment. However, if any information might be of use in your current care or treatment, the doctors looking after you may discuss with you how it could be used to guide your treatment. This may include inviting you to join a medical research trial of new treatments. You would be provided with full information of any new treatments and free to decide whether or not to take part.
How does the Biorepository get consent to use my tissue?
When you come into hospital or attend a clinic you will be asked if you agree to let your surplus tissue to be used for medical research. Your wishes will be recorded electronically. In some cases, this may involve surplus tissue taken earlier in your care.
Can I change my mind?
You can change your mind at any time. You don’t need to give a reason. However, if you change your mind after your operation, some of your tissue may already have been used for research.
How do I find more?
If you need more information you can ask your doctor or nurse, or contact us directly.
We endeavour to provide a good service. Our complaints policy and procedure reflects NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s commitment to welcoming all forms of feedback, including complaints, and using them to improve services, to address complaints in a person-centred way and to respect the rights of patients, families and staff involved. It will support our staff to resolve complaints and to conduct thorough and fair investigations so that we can make compassionate, yet evidence-based decisions, on the facts of the case.
Should you have any comments, suggestions, cause for concern or complaints about the service you receive from the Biorepository, please contact the Biorepository Manager.