California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Adrian Wadley

Adrian Wadley and his team maintain the quality of collections at the El-Hefni Liver Biorepository at CPMC.



CPMCRI maintains several biorepositories of blood and tissue samples, which are made available to researchers at CPMC and from other institutions. Research based on the samples in these biorepositories has already yielded novel diagnostic tests, potential new treatments for chronic illnesses, and many publications advancing knowledge about specific disease mechanisms. Clinical, epidemiological, and follow-up data from patients who donate samples are kept anonymously. Samples may be processed to make materials such as DNA, RNA or serum, and are stored in secure freezers. All requests for samples are reviewed to evaluate the quality of the proposed study, and all research at CPMC is reviewed and approved by CPMC’s Institutional Review Board.

Specific CPMCRI and Sutter Health-affiliated biorepositories include:

Breast Health Study:
In partnership with the San Francisco Coordinating Center, the Breast Health Study’s repository of blood samples collected between 2003 and 2011 from a large research cohort is being used to help clinicians predict postmenopausal women’s risk of developing breast cancer. This biorepository includes 24,500 samples from 17,000 unique patients, linked to mammographic images and to the San Francisco Mammography Registry.

Brain tissues:
This biorepository contains 150 samples of brain tissue from patients with tumors and some patients with epilepsy. CPMCRI researchers are studying the role of the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) in glioblastoma. In addition, Dr. Liliana Soroceanu’s lab focuses on novel therapies against glioblastoma stem cells, which are resistant to chemo- and radiation therapy.

Liver disease:
The Ibrahim El-Hefni Liver Biorepository at CPMC (IELBC) is supported by the Ibrahim El-Hefni Technical Training Foundation and the Department of Transplantation at CPMC, and has recruited almost 2,000 patients and collected almost 5,000 samples—with almost 52,000 separate sample units available for research. Investigators at CPMC are using these samples to conduct research on hepatitis C, in the hope of developing a vaccine. Translational studies based on IELBC samples have already been conducted at the Kalmanovitz Liver Immunology Laboratory at CPMC, at the Liver Center at UCSF, at Drexel University, and at the University of Paris.

Breast cancer:
CPMC researcher Dr. Shanaz Dairkee has collected fresh clinical samples of primary tumor and non-malignant breast tissue since 1994, which have been widely used in collaborative studies. This tissue bank represents a large collection of human specimens cryopreserved as dissociated viable fractions enabling future expansion as cell cultures for tests requiring living cells, such as drug responsiveness. Primary tumors from this bank have yielded novel cancer cell lines from a wide spectrum of breast cancers. This is the first collection worldwide of such diverse cancer cell lines from any species. Among many other applications, such cell lines are vitally important in studies comparing genetic and functional features of tumors of widely differing biological phenotypes and clinical behavior.

Gastric tissue:
For an ongoing study of delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis), researchers have collected samples of gastric tissue and blood along with quality-of-life measures from patients treated at CPMC. Samples are also contributed to the National Institutes of Health's Gastroparesis Registry, led by Dr. William Snape. The biobank is one of six centers nationwide participating in this observational study to characterize the disease.

Tissue samples from 500 patients with melanoma have been collected from surgeries at CPMC. Research on these samples has already yielded new diagnostic tests for melanoma, including tests that predict which melanomas are most aggressive. Led by Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, the melanoma group  hopes to use samples from all stages of the disease to uncover the genetic signatures that govern disease progression. Researchers from the melanoma lab are also collaborating with the brain tumor group, seeking commonalities in the mechanisms of disease progression.

Bioarchive in Recipients of Kidney Transplants:
The Bioarchive in Recipients of Kidney Transplants (RKIVE) is an archive of blood, serum, and tissue samples from California Pacific Medical Center patients who have received a kidney transplant. The major goal is to draw correlations between biological markers in the donated samples and treatment outcomes, so that when more is known about organ rejection, patients can have treatments individually tailored to their own physiological responses.