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The AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource: Role in HIV/AIDS scientific discovery


The AIDS Cancer and Specimen Resource (ACSR) supports scientific discovery in the area of HIV/AIDS-associated malignancies. The ACSR was established as a cooperative agreement between the NCI (Office of the Director, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis) and regional consortia, University of California, San Francisco (West Coast), George Washington University (East Coast) and Ohio State University (Mid-Region) to collect, preserve and disperse HIV-related tissues and biologic fluids and controls along with clinical data to qualified investigators. The available biological samples with clinical data and the application process are described on the ACSR web site. The ACSR tissue bank has more than 100,000 human HIV positive specimens that represent different processing (43), specimen (15), and anatomical site (50) types. The ACSR provides special biospecimen collections and prepares speciality items, e.g., tissue microarrays (TMA), DNA libraries. Requests have been greatest for Kaposi's sarcoma (32%) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (26%). Dispersed requests include 83% tissue (frozen and paraffin embedded), 18% plasma/serum and 9% other. ACSR also provides tissue microarrays of, e.g., Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, for biomarker assays and has developed collaborations with other groups that provide access to additional AIDS-related malignancy specimens. ACSR members and associates have completed 63 podium and poster presentations. Investigators have submitted 125 letters of intent requests. Discoveries using ACSR have been reported in 61 scientific publications in notable journals with an average impact factor of 7. The ACSR promotes the scientific exploration of the relationship between HIV/AIDS and malignancy by participation at national and international scientific meetings, contact with investigators who have productive research in this area and identifying, collecting, preserving, enhancing, and dispersing HIV/AIDS-related malignancy specimens to funded, approved researchers at no fee. Scientific discovery has been advanced by this unique biorepository. Investigators are encouraged to browse the ACSR Internet site for materials to enhance their own scientific initiatives.

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