vom 01.06.2023

NCT Tissue Bank Heidelberg: first biobank accredited to new standard

The NCT Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD).

The tissue bank of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg and the tissue bank of the German Center for Infection Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung,
DZIF) have jointly achieved the first accreditation in Germany according to a new standard explicitly created for biobanks. The accreditation shows the biobanks' high performance, which meets the requirements of excellent research. The German Accreditation Body (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle, DAkkS) and the German Biobank Node (GBN) accompanied the process.

Since 2020, a new, specific standard for the accreditation of biobanks has been available in Germany. As the first biobank, the tissue bank of the NCT Heidelberg has now been accredited according to this new DIN EN ISO 20387:2020. The affiliated lung biobank of the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg at the UKHD and the tissue bank of the German Center for Infection Research have also achieved accreditation together with the NCT tissue bank. The successful accreditation according to the demanding standard demonstrates that the biobank meets strict standards and ensures a high level of quality control and assurance.

Alexander Brobeil is head of the NCT tissue bank. He says, "Accreditation to the new biobank standard is another important milestone for us. It shows that we are working in accordance with the highest quality standards and are continuously improving our services. We have proven that researchers can count on the quality of our samples and data."

The NCT Tissue Bank collects, characterizes, processes, and stores human tissue samples and other biospecimens from cancer patients. With this, the facility supports approximately 200 basic and translational research projects each year. Stefan Fröhling, Managing Director at the NCT Heidelberg and Head of the Division of the Translational Medical Oncology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), says: "We want the NCT Tissue Bank to meet the high standards of excellent research. Its specific accreditation, which has now been granted for the first time in Germany, shows that the NCT Tissue Bank perfectly meets this requirement."

DAkkS developed the accreditation program for the new biobank standard in close cooperation with GBN. The process of accreditation for the NCT tissue bank already started in 2018, before the new standard came into effect. The staff first identified the new standard's additional requirements, compared to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020, to which the NCT Tissue Bank was previously accredited. Then, the team implemented the identified requirements, which included a user satisfaction survey. Carolin Kaufhold-Wedel, quality manager of the NCT Tissue Bank, says, "Accreditation was a challenging task. The team rose to the challenge and did a great job."

After a preparatory Friendly Audit by the GBN, the tissue banks were assessed by DAkkS last winter and were presented with the accreditation certificate in April 2023 as the first biobanks in Germany. Cornelia Specht, Managing Director of GBN, says: "We congratulate the NCT Tissue Bank and the DZIF Tissue Bank on their accreditation according to DIN EN ISO 20387. We are very pleased to have supported their efforts, especially with the Friendly Audits, and will continue to stand by all those seeking accreditation."


An image of the press release is available free of charge on the Internet at: https://www.nct-heidelberg.de/fileadmin/media/nct-heidelberg/news/pressemitteilungen/GBN_015.jpg


Note on the use of images for press releases:

Use is free of charge. The NCT Heidelberg permits one-time use in connection with reporting on the subject of the press release. Please quote the copyright " German Biobank Node "(GBN)/Thomas Pieruschek" as photo credit. The image material may only be passed on to third parties after prior consultation with NCT Communications (Phone: +49 6221 42-1755, e-mail: martin.staiger@nct-heidelberg.de). Use for commercial purposes is prohibited.


Contact for the press:

Dr. Martin Staiger
Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT) Heidelberg
Communication and Events
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-1755
E-mail: martin.staiger@nct-heidelberg.de

Dr. Sibylle Kohlstädt
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
Strategic Communications and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-2843
Fax: +49 6221 42-2968
E-mail: s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de

Julia Bird
Comm. Head of Corporate Communications, Comm. Press Spokeswoman
Heidelberg University Hospital and Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University
Press and Public Relations
Im Neuenheimer Feld 672
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 56-7071
Fax: +49 6221 56-4544
E-mail: presse@med.uni-heidelberg.de


The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg

The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg University Hospital and German Cancer Aid. The NCT's goal is to link promising approaches from cancer research with patient care from diagnosis to treatment, aftercare and prevention. The interdisciplinary tumor outpatient clinic is the central element of the NCT. Here the patients benefit from an individual treatment plan prepared in a timely manner in interdisciplinary expert rounds, the so-called tumor boards. Participation in clinical studies provides access to innovative therapies. The NCT thereby acts as a pioneering platform that translates novel research results from the laboratory into clinical practice. The NCT cooperates with self-help groups and supports them in their work. Since 2015, a second site for the NCT beside Heidelberg has been under development in Dresden.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

With more than 3,000 employees, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute. DKFZ scientists identify cancer risk factors, investigate how cancer progresses and develop new cancer prevention strategies. They are also developing new methods to diagnose tumors more precisely and treat cancer patients more successfully. The DKFZ's Cancer Information Service (KID) provides patients, interested citizens and experts with individual answers to questions relating to cancer.
To transfer promising approaches from cancer research to the clinic and thus improve the prognosis of cancer patients, the DKFZ cooperates with excellent research institutions and university hospitals throughout Germany:

  • National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT, 6 sites)
  • German Cancer Consortium (DKTK, 8 sites)
  • Hopp Children's Cancer Center (KiTZ) Heidelberg
  • Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON Mainz) - A Helmholtz Institute of the DKFZ
  • DKFZ-Hector Cancer Institute at the University Medical Center Mannheim
  • National Cancer Prevention Center (jointly with German Cancer Aid)

The DKFZ is 90 percent financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and 10 percent by the state of Baden-Württemberg. The DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

Heidelberg University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine: Internationally Renowned Patient Care, Research and Teaching

Heidelberg University Hospital (Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, UKHD) is one of the largest and most prestigious medical centers in Germany. The Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University (Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg, MFHD) belongs to the internationally renowned biomedical research institutions in Europe. Both institutions have the common goal of developing new therapies and implementing them rapidly for patients. Heidelberg University Hospital and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg University employs around 14.500 employees and is committed to providing trainings and qualifications. Every year, around 86,000 patients and more than 1.100.000 outpatient cases are treated in more than 50 clinical departments with almost 2.500 beds. Together with the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the German Cancer Aid, the UKHD established the first National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg. The goal is to provide care at the highest level as an oncology center of excellence and to rapidly transfer promising approaches from cancer research to the hospital. In addition, the UKHD operates in partnership with the DKFZ and the University of Heidelberg the Hopp Children’s Cancer center Heidelberg (KiTZ), a unique and nationally known therapy and research center for oncological and hematological diseases in children and adolescents. The Heidelberg Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed) is one of the top medical training programs in Germany. Currently, there are about 4.000 future physicians studying in Heidelberg.