publication date: Oct. 27, 2017

Conversation with the Cancer Letter

Storniolo: The Komen Tissue Bank fills the gap in understanding of “normal”

Anna Maria Storniolo

Executive Director, Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center

Anna_Storniolo

 

Ten years ago, the formation of the Komen Tissue Bank at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center was met with skepticism.

Critics questioned the ethics of collecting “normal” breast tissue from healthy women who otherwise would have no other reason to undergo biopsies.

Anna Maria Storniolo, a founder of the tissue bank and now its director, was one of those skeptics—before she started work on the bank in 2005.

But women were willing to donate. Now, the bank has tissue samples from over 5,000 women, blood and DNA samples from over 10,000 women, and 1,000 cryopreserved samples.

Today, researchers are learning that the definition of “normal” breast tissue can vary, depending on factors such as eventual development of malignancies and racial groups.

“We’re finally on a steep curve of recognition and use, but it has been a long time coming,” Storniolo said. “Hopefully scientists will see the value of the Komen Tissue Bank, and use the samples and data it provides to accelerate the path to a cure for breast cancer.”

Storniolo spoke with Matthew Ong, a reporter with The Cancer Letter.

 

Matthew Ong:

How did the Komen Tissue Bank come about?

Anna Maria Storniolo:

In the early 2000s, we were at a meeting based in Indianapolis that happens annually. We … Continue reading Storniolo: The Komen Tissue Bank fills the gap in understanding of “normal”

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