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Helen Sewell Tumour Bank

Helen Sewell Tumour Bank

Named in honour of generous benefactor, Helen Sewell, BCRC-WA started the first breast cancer specific tumour bank in Western Australia in conjunction with Western Diagnostic Pathology.

Throughout the world, cancer centres of excellence are establishing tumour banks of solid cancers that affect men and women, in a collaborative effort to understand cancer behaviour and ultimately improve survival.

Since our tumour bank’s inception in April 2014, we have collected over 3000 samples.

What is a breast tumour bank?

A breast tumour bank is a storage site for small samples of breast tumour and surrounding tissues removed at the time of breast cancer surgery.

Patients provide written consent to their tissue being included in the tumour bank. To date, we have collected more than 3000 breast cancer samples – a reflection of the keen support our patients have in supporting the understanding of the disease. More research is needed into predictive biomarkers for breast cancer and the collection and study of tissue samples is vital for this to occur.

What is the strength of the Helen Sewell Breast Tumour Bank?

A unique feature of our endeavour is that the samples we collect are linked to patient demographic information and treatments given to the patient, in a confidential manner. It is vitally important to be able to link the biology of the breast cancer to what happens to that patient.