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Alliance Foundation Trials (AFT) Biorepository and Laboratory Closures and Limited Operations

Last Updated:  June 2, 2020

Please see detailed instructions by study below. Please click on the link to open document that lists study, collection time points, specimen type, COVID-19 response for Kits and Shipments. 

March 19, 2020 

Due to institutional, state, and federal measures to limit person-to-person contact and the spread of COVID-19 virus, the AFT Biorepository and some Assay Labs will be closing and/or limiting activities due to limited staffing.  Please visit this page frequently to see updates regarding kit requests and biospecimen submission for all Alliance trials.  Note that the AFT Biospecimen Coordinating Center (i.e. AFT.BioMS and AFT.BioMS HelpDesk) will still operate normally through phone and email communicationPlease contact the AFT BioMS HelpDesk with any questions related to these policies and procedures.

  •  Effective March 20, 2020 (this applies to any biospecimen collected after March 19, 2020) all AFT Biorepository will be providing limited services (kit distribution and biospecimen receipt) on ALL AFT trials. 
  • The following specimens SHOULD NOT BE SHIPPED AT THIS TIME:
    • Paraffin tissue blocks, stained slides, and unstained slides, unless needed for integral, prospective (“real time”) assays or pathology review, for patient eligibility or arm stratification.  These ‘stable’ and ‘non-urgent’ specimens will be requested and should be sent when operations return to normal.
    • Frozen tissue or biofluids (serum, plasma, urine, CSF, feces) that are already being processed and frozen on site and that can be reliably stored at -80 degrees at the local site.  These will be requested and sent when operations return to normal.
    • Specimen collections that may be deferred to a later collection time point.
      • e.g. collection of EDTA blood tube at ‘baseline’ or ‘screening’ for isolation of constitutional (‘germline’) DNA.
      • Any other biospecimen that requires immediate receipt and processing but is not required for a specified integral or integrated correlative science assay.  In these cases, the site (rather than the biorepository) may be able to process and store specimens at the clinical site.  Some examples include:
        • PaxGene Tubes:  May be frozen, stored frozen, and eventually shipped frozen to the biorepository.
        • Streck Tubes:  Centrifugation, plasma removal, stored frozen
        • EDTA Tubes for ‘Buffy Coat’:  Centrifugation, buffy coat removal, stored frozen.

If you are able to perform these functions, please contact the HelpDesk for processing SOPs that may not already be available in the Correlative Science Manual (CSM).

  •  The following specimens SHOULD BE SHIPPED AT THIS TIME:
    • Any specimen required for integral, prospective (“real time”) assays or pathology review, for patient eligibility or arm stratification.
    • Any specimen that requires immediate receipt and processing by the biorepository AND is part of a ‘mandatory’ collection or a collection that is specified as part of an integrated correlative science study.
    • Any specimen that is processed and frozen at the site but for which there is not appropriate storage facilities (i.e. intermediate term -80 degree storage).
  • If you are uncertain as to whether to SHIP or HOLD a biospecimen, please contact the AFT BioMS HelpDesk by phone or email.
  • Biospecimen distributions from the AFT biorepository to research laboratories for non-integral biomarker studies (integrated / retrospective and secondary use correlative science studies) are suspended until further notice.
  • Distribution of biospecimen COLLECTION KITS will be made on a limited basis.
    • Kit request and shipment times will be significantly delayed. Kits may only ship out once per week.
    • Kits may only be requested for collections that are mandatory or required for trial correlative science (see above).
    • Availability of kit ordering will be restricted in AFT.BioMS. If you are not able to find a kit that you normally request on the AFT.BioMS kit request page, that means that the kit will not be available for shipment.
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