Brain Tissue Translational Resource | BTTR
William H. Yong, MD
William Yong, MD, BTTR Director
Day-to-day technical contacts:
Matt Bowen Wei
The Brain Tumor Translational Resource (BTTR) is a biorepository and resource that supports brain tumor research at UCLA, other academic centers, brain tumor consortia, and industry. It is committed to to providing its researchers and physicians with tangible brain tumor resources they may draw upon to complete their research. The BTTR provides researchers access to de-identified clinical resources and tissue on consented patients who have been diagnosed with a Primary Adult Brain Tumor. These bio-specimen resources can include blood, cell culture, stained and un-stained slides, paraffin tumor blocks, frozen tissue, DNA and RNA. Our goal is to facilitate the research that aids in the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. .
How does collecting tumors work? In the operating rooms at UCLA, neurosurgeons may resect tumor and provide it to the neuropathologists to evaluate. If appropriate, blood and urine may be collected at the start of surgery. Once it has been established that there is sufficient tumor for pathologic diagnosis, tumor tissues are collected from the operating room and kept on ice till it can be processed which is as rapidly as possible. Depending on the protocol for a case, tissue may be stored in RNA stabilizers, frozen down in liquid nitrogen, cultured under standard or stem cell conditions, or fixed in formalin. Fresh tumor tissue may be directly disbursed to researchers if the patient has consented and their IRB protocols permit it. Tissue fixed in formalin undergoes additional processing to form a paraffin block, often known as formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) block. For long term storage, most materials are stored as frozen tissue or as FFPE blocks. We also receive and store patient biosamples from outside centers.
Depending on your IRB protocol, biospecimens may be provided with different research identifiers to enable you to obtain relevant clinical or molecular data. Please keep careful track of these identifiers that we provide and maintain the link with the specimen that we give to you. It is crucial to our ability to provide you accurate molecular stratification information or survival data for example. One or two mislabeled cases can potentially skew the data on your important project. Careful labeling of biospecimens or their derivatives as you do your work is very important. Some basic principles are strongly recommended:
If you are new to the UCLA brain tumor research community whether a principal investigator, technician, postdoc, or grad student, please contact us to discuss how we can help you. Patients of course are always very welcome to ask questions of us.
The BTTR also helps to prepare future generations of physicians and scientists. Undergraduates, lab technicians, and visiting scholars both support the mission of brain tumor research and gain valuable experience for the future. We thank them for their dedication and hard work. We congratulate our lab alumni who have matriculated into medical, other graduate, and residency programs. We wish them the best of success in helping our patients and our world get better.