Victorian Cancer Biobank Manage 400,000+ Biospecimens with OpenSpecimen

The Victorian Cancer Biobank (VCB) is a crucial part of the medical research landscape supporting researchers throughout Australia and around the world with the aim of delivering better clinical outcomes to people suffering with cancer. With a library of over 400,000 specimens they turned to OpenSpecimen to manage their inventory in 2016 and upgraded to v6.3 in 2020. 

Maggie Ling, Data Systems Manager at the Victoria Cancer Biobank working with OpenSpecimen.
Maggie Ling, Data Systems Manager at the Victorian Cancer Biobank working with OpenSpecimen.

VCB is a consortium of five major health precincts in Victoria (26 hospitals within the network) including Austin Health, Eastern Health, Melbourne Health, Monash Health and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Cancer Council Victoria as the lead agency. . The VCB supports cancer researchers by collecting and distributing tissue samples. Established in 2006, they have received donations from over 34,000 Victorians undergoing cancer and other surgeries, with most specimens collected before 2015 and having a minimum of five years of follow-up clinical information making them extremely valuable to researchers. 

With such a large inventory, including samples of various types and formats spread across multiple locations, VCB needed a flexible, easily configurable LIMS platform that would also allow them to provide quick specimen turnaround times. OpenSpecimen was able to deliver this as well as providing a secure, web-based, extensible system backed by reliable, professional support. 

Speaking about their experience with OpenSpecimen for managing their library of biospecimens, Maggie Ling, Data Systems Manager at VCB said, “the Krishagni team was very helpful, patient and responsive, taking the time to understand our needs and always keeping us informed during the implementation process. They were also able to build a custom edit checks module to our requirements and the recent upgrade have allowed us to integrate our specimen catalogue into our website. OpenSpecimen has met our expectations and we have happily recommended it to other biobanks.” 

“The Krishagni team was very helpful, patient and responsive, taking the time to understand our needs and always keeping us informed during the implementation process. They were also able to build a custom edit checks module to our requirements and the recent upgrade have allowed us to integrate our specimen catalogue into our website. OpenSpecimen has met our expectations and we have happily recommended it to other biobanks.”

Maggie Ling, Data Systems Manager at Victorian Cancer Biobank

VCB’s online catalogue can be accessed at any time at https://viccancerbiobank.org.au/for-researchers/specimen-catalogue/ where the OpenSpecimen engine provides access to the entire library of biospecimens and status updates, all in real-time. 

Other OpenSpecimen features  that were key to VCB’s decision to implement it were custom forms that allow improved management of datacapture and entry; specimen catalogue that can be configured for public access; reporting features; and dashboards that provide real time status updates.  

Victorian Cancer Biobank team - users of OpenSpecimen
The Victorian Cancer Biobank team.