The correct implementation and application of current data protection regulations and their legal and ethical basis is of great importance to the NCT Tissue Bank’s operations.
The management of both the Heidelberg University Hospital and the National Center for Tumor Diseases declare that the NCT Tissue Bank at the Institute of Pathology, in its function as an inspection body type C in line with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17020, is free from any commercial, financial or other influences. They assume responsibility that any exercise of influence by outside persons or organizations on services provided by the inspection body – examination findings and the provision of expertise – is excluded.
The positive ethics committee opinion concerning establishment of the tissue and tumor bank was issued by the Ethikkommission der Medizinischen Fakultät Heidelberg (ethics commission of the Heidelberg Medical Faculty) and is revalidated regularly.
The entire staff of the Tissue Bank are instructed on their obligation to maintain data confidentiality in line with §6 of the Landesdatenschutzgesetz (state law concerning data protection). Among other duties, they are instructed that it is prohibited without authorization to process, publish, use or make protected personal data available for any purpose other than the lawful and legitimate performance of duties, and that these obligations persist after termination of the duties.
The electronic storage and processing of data (morbidity data) complies with all data protection requirements. It is ensured that the data may not be traced to patients or that the linking of data to medical histories by third parties is not possible. The collected samples and data are stored or transmitted in a pseudonymized form, i.e. without names or identifying data. To this end, the tissue samples and personal data are encrypted by means of a numerical code. Mr. Martin Schurer is the University Hospital’s data protection officer.