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Solid Tissue Submission Procedures
Welcome to the SWOG Solid Tissue Specimen submission page. Below are the specimen submission instructions for Whole Blood, Serum, Plasma, and Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) Tissue specimens for the repository in Columbus, OH. The links in the table below lead to the specimen collection and shipping instructions for the respective repository sections. Any excess diagnostic tissue will be retained by SWOG and used according to the patient’s designation for "future use," unless otherwise noted in the patient’s consent form.

For additional specimen submission questions, please contact the SWOG Data Operations Center at 206-652-2267.

Repository Specimen Submission Guidelines for:
General Submission Instructions Whole Blood Plasma Serum FFPE Tissue

General Specimen Submission Instructions

  1. Patient consent must be obtained prior to shipping specimens.
  2. Specimen submission time points can be found in Section 15.0 of the treatment protocols.
  3. All submitted specimens must be labeled with the treatment protocol number, SWOG patient number, patient initials, time point, and date of specimen collection, specimen number and/or specimen type, Surgical Pathology ID (Accession # from pathology report), and block number (as applicable).
    1. Instructions for Labels
      1. Large Labels (download large label template):
        • Use Avery 5160 labels*
        • Use for all specimens submitted
        • Type or write information
        • Place on outside bag or container, depending on specimen type
      2. Small Labels (download small label template):
        • Use Avery 5160 labels*
        • Use for all specimens submitted
        • Type or write information on right side of line
        • Cut the label on the line
        • Place only the right side of the label on each specimen
        • For blood products, place on each vial submitted
        • For paraffin specimens, place on slides or blocks

        *If Avery 5160 labels are not available, the label may be printed on regular paper and taped to the specimen container.

  4. Include a specimen shipping form in every shipment, ensuring the information on the form exactly matches the specimens in the shipment.
  5. Ship specimens according to IATA shipping regulations.
    1. Shipping guidelines for ambient specimens:
      1. The specimen must be wrapped in absorbable material.
      2. Place the specimen in an AIRTIGHT container (must have a primary and secondary container, ex a Saf-T-Pak).
      3. Place packaged specimen in an appropriate shipping container (ex. FedEx box or clinical pack).
      4. Mark the outside shipping container with an "Exempt Human Specimen" label.
    2. Shipping guidelines for frozen specimens:
      1. The specimen must be wrapped in absorbable material.
      2. Place the specimen in an AIRTIGHT container (must have a primary and secondary container, ex a Saf-T-Pak).
      3. Place packaged specimen in an appropriate shipping container (composed of an inner styrofoam and outer cardboard layer) containing dry ice.
      4. Surround the airtight container with dry ice.
      5. Mark the outside shipping container with an "Exempt Human Specimen" label and a dry ice label.
  6. Specimen Tracking System
    1. All repository submissions for patients on SWOG treatment or ancillary trials must be entered and tracked using the SWOG Online Specimen Tracking System (SpecTrack).
    2. SWOG members may log onto SpecTrack via the CRA Workbench using their SWOG roster ID number and password.Non-SWOG members may access SpecTrack using their CTSU UserID and password on the SpecTrack login page located at https://crawb.crab.org/SpecTrack/Logon.aspx (select the option "SWOG - SWOG - CTSU").
    3. SpecTrack laboratory IDs are used to identify the laboratories to which specimens are shipped.
    4. Note that peripheral blood and bone marrow collected at the same time are separate specimens, each requiring its own separate entry into the Specimen Tracking System.
    5. All specimens must be logged via this system; there are no exceptions.
    6. To report technical problems with SpecTrack, such as database errors or connectivity issues, please send an email to technicalquestion@crab.org..
    7. For procedural help with logging and shipping specimens, there is an introduction to the system on the Specimen Tracking main page. For further assistance, contact the Data Operations Center at 206-652-2267 to be routed to the Data Coordinator.
  7. Contact the SWOG Specimen Repository, Solid Tissue, Myeloma, and Lymphoma Division with any questions regarding specimen and shipping instructions.
  8. The laboratory ID number, shipping address, and contact information for solid tissue submissions are:

  Lab #201:   SWOG Specimen Repository
    Solid Tissue, Myeloma & Lymphoma Division
    Nationwide Children’s Hospital
    700 Children’s Drive, WA1340
    Columbus, OH 43205
 
  Contact:   Filiz Muharrem
  Phone: 614-722-2865
  FAX: 614-722-2897
  Email: bpcbank@nationwidechildrens.org

Specimen Submission Guidelines for the Whole Blood (EDTA) and Plasma

Note: Specimen submissions vary per protocol. Please follow instructions accordingly.

  1. Standard Instructions for Collecting and Shipping Fresh Whole Blood Specimens.
    1. Use pink/lavender top vacutainer tubes with EDTA to collect whole blood.
      1. If your site does not have the recommended size of vacutainer tubes required by the treatment protocol, other sized tubes may be used to collect the required/requested amount of blood.
      2. Avoid using < 3mL collection tubes.
      3. Pre-label vacutainer tube(s) according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
    2. Use aseptic techniques and draw blood from the patient into the vacutainer tube(s). The amount of blood required will vary per protocol.
    3. Immediately after the blood is drawn, thoroughly mix the blood with the anticoagulant by gently inverting the vacutainer tube(s) multiple times.
    4. Store whole blood prior to shipping at 4°C (40°F). Do not freeze the whole blood. Storage time longer than 24 hours should be noted on the specimen shipping form.
    5. Whole blood should be shipped the same day (day of collection) preferably using Federal Express, Priority Overnight service. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt.
      1. Specimens may be shipped Monday through Thursday using only overnight delivery to arrive Monday through Friday. Fresh blood specimens ONLY may be shipped Friday for Saturday delivery. For specimens collected before a holiday, please process and ship the specimens according the instructions outlined below (#2).
      2. During the months of April-September, ship fresh specimens on a cold pack. During the months of October-March, insulate fresh specimens to keep from freezing due to weather (ex. wrap specimen in bubble wrap).
      3. For packaging instructions, refer to the shipping guidelines for ambient specimens in the General Specimen Submission Instructions outlined above.
  2. Standard Instructions for Collecting, Processing, and Shipping Buffy Coat and Plasma Specimens.
    1. Follow instructions for blood specimen collection as outlined above (1a-1c).
    2. Blood must be processed within 2 hours after venipuncture. Note on the specimen shipping form if the blood was not processed within 2 hours post venipuncture.
    3. Use aseptic techniques to process whole blood.
    4. Follow the instructions below for buffy coat collection;
      1. Centrifuge vacutainer tube(s) at 400 x g for 10 minutes at room temperature.
      2. Pre-label cryovials according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions.
      3. Using a sterile pipette, slowly remove the buffy coat (the thin gray- white layer located in between the red blood cells and the plasma). Avoid aspirating excessive amounts of the red blood cells while collecting the buffy coat.
      4. Aliquot the buffy coat equally into two 2mL cryovials.
      5. Immediately freeze vials in a freezing apparatus (ex. Mr. Frosty). If not available, slow freeze vials on dry ice or in a -70°C to -80°C freezer. Store frozen buffy coat vials in a -70°C to -80°C freezer until ready to ship.
    5. Follow the instructions below for plasma collection:
      1. Centrifuge the vacutainer tube(s) with the remaining plasma and red blood cells at 900 x g for 10 minutes at room temperature.
      2. Pre-label cryovials according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions
      3. Using a sterile pipette, remove the plasma (yellow -clear liquid above the red blood cells). No cells or debris should be present.
      4. Aliquot the plasma into 2mL cryovials at 1mL each.
      5. Immediately freeze vials in a freezing apparatus (ex. Mr. Frosty). If not available, slow freeze vials on dry ice or in a -70°C freezer. Store frozen plasma vials in a -70°C to -80°C freezer until ready to ship.

      Whole Blood Processing Procedure

    6. Batch ship frozen plasma and buffy coat specimens on dry ice preferably using Federal Express, Priority Overnight service. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt.
      1. Frozen specimens may only be shipped Monday through Thursday using overnight delivery to arrive Monday through Friday. Do NOT ship frozen specimens on Friday for Saturday delivery.
      2. For packaging instructions, refer to shipping guidelines for frozen specimens in the General Specimen Submission Instructions outlined above

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Serum

Note: Specimen submissions vary per protocol. Please follow instructions accordingly.

  1. Standard Instructions for Collecting and Processing Serum Specimens.
    1. Use 10mL red or red/black marble top (SST) vacutainer tubes with no anticoagulant to collect whole blood for serum processing.
      1. If your site does not have the size vacutainer tubes required by the treatment protocol, other sized tubes may be used to collect the required/requested amount of blood.
      2. Avoid using < 3mL collection tubes.
    2. Use aseptic techniques and draw blood from the patient.
    3. Follow the instructions below for serum collection:
      1. Allow blood to clot for 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
      2. Centrifuge vacutainer tube (s) at 900 x g for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
      3. Pre-label cryovials according to specimen labeling requirements indicated in the General Specimen Submission Instructions
      4. Using a sterile pipette, remove serum (yellow-clear liquid above clot).
      5. Aliquot the serum into 2mL cryovials at 1mL each.
      6. Immediately freeze vials in a freezing apparatus (ex. Mr. Frosty). If not available, slow freeze vials on dry ice or in a -70°C to -80°C freezer. Store frozen serum vials in a -70°C to -80°C freezer until ready to ship.
    4. Ship frozen serum specimens on dry ice preferably using Federal Express, Priority Overnight service. Use of other courier services may delay package receipt.
      1. Frozen specimens may only be shipped Monday through Thursday using only overnight delivery to arrive Monday through Friday. Do NOT ship frozen specimens on Friday for Saturday delivery.
      2. For packaging instructions, refer to shipping guidelines for frozen specimens in the General Specimen Submission Instructions outlined above.

Specimen Submission Guidelines for Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) Tissue

Note: Specimen submissions vary per protocol. Please follow instructions accordingly.

  1. Standard collection of Paraffin Embedded Tissue Block.
    1. Place the fresh tissue in formalin. Do Not Exceed 24 hours fixation time.
    2. Fixed tissue must be paraffin embedded within 24 hours.
    3. Cut one H & E (Hematoxylin and Eosin) stained section from the representative paraffin embedded tissue block.
  2. Standard collection of Slides.
    1. Slides may be submitted if the institution cannot release a pathology paraffin embedded block.
    2. Cut unstained sections from the representative paraffin embedded tissue block.
    3. Standard submission of unstained slides should be cut at 5-8 mcM thickness on positive charged slides.
    4. Cut one H & E (Hematoxylin and Eosin) stained section from the representative paraffin embedded tissue block.
    5. Slides may be processed according to local pathology guidelines.
    6. Charged slides will be used for tissue processing unless otherwise noted in treatment protocol.
  3. Standard Instructions for Shipping Paraffin Embedded Tissues and Slides:
    1. Include in shipment:
      1. One representative paraffin embedded block.
      2. One standard H&E (Hematoxylin and Eosin) stained slide from a representative paraffin embedded block, if paraffin embedded block not available.
      3. A pathology report (indicating the morphological diagnosis).
      4. A copy of the packing/shipping list produced by the SWOG Online Specimen Tracking System.
    2. Ship paraffin embedded tissue according to the shipping guidelines for ambient specimens in the General Specimen Submission Instructions above.

NOTE: Paraffin tissue blocks will NOT be returned to the submitting institution unless it is required for patient care. If the block is needed for patient care, a written request must be submitted to the bank with a rationale for the return. If a site will have an issue with this requirement, the option to submit slides in place of the block should be considered.


FFPE Procedure

 
     
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