Branding dk eng

GenomeDenmark > Donors and research ethics > Use of patient materials

Use of patient materials

The Cancer&Pathogen project

The Cancer&Pathogen project mainly relies on cancer samples from clinical biobanks at hospitals, particularly the Danish Cancer Biobank.

Securing anonymity

  • We only accept anonymous patient materials that can’t be connected to project patients.
  • Sequencing of genetic material from cancer samples are used to identify the microorganisms found in such tests. For some methods patient DNA data is also being sequenced. However, the applied bioinformatics methods filter out all familiar, human sequencing data so these won’t become part of the project.
  • This means that cancer samples and sequencing data from individual patients remain will remain anonymous.

Ethical approval

Approval from the Data Protection Commissioner

The Danish Reference Genome

The project relies on blood from voluntary, Danish donors from the Copenhagen Family Bank. The donors partake in the project according to written consent after having received detailed information about the project.

Copenhagen Family Bank

The Copenhagen Family Bank was founded in 1973 by professor J. Mohr and lector H. Eiberg with the University of Copenhagen. The biobank today stores blood from more than 900 Danish families with at least four children. In total, samples from more than 6,000 individuals are included in the biobank.

Securing anonymity

  • To protect the identity of donors, identities are only known to the custodian of the Copenhagen Family Bank. When general data such as height, eye colour, age etc. is analysed along with the genome data, each donor is represented by an anonymous code to conceal any personal references.
  • The objective of the project is to publish a reference genome in the shape of an overall sequence as well as information about variations among individuals. Thus, donor sequences aren’t published individually, but only as an average.

Ethical approval

Approval from the National Research Ethics Committee: File number 1210920, notification 41998