Using Biospecimens

Better Understanding of the Science of Disease Using Tissue-Based Research  Is the gene or protein you are studying expressed uniformly in all tissues, or even across a single tissue? Does this differ among individuals? Are there consistent patterns of altered expression among adjacent cell types, within tissues, or cancer types? Are there localized variations in gene or protein expression associated with susceptibility to disease or response to treatments? You are the scientific expert – and you know what questions must be answered to advance your research. Knowing the answers to these questions is critical to the success of projects and the applicability of your findings to improving the standard of human healthcare. This starts with having the right types of good quality tissue specimens and screening a sufficient number of samples. Folio can help you address these issues with its human biospecimens and Tissue Microarrays (TMAs). Folio serves multiple markets for a wide range of research organizations:

  • Basic scientific research
  • Clinical research
  • Translational and personalized medicine studies that bridge basic and clinical
No matter what the study or the type of organization, it is often important that the tissues are accompanied by thorough clinical annotations. Folio’s biospecimens may include up to 25 years of demographic, epidemiologic, pathologic, lab data, staging, treatment, progression, and outcome data. Biochemical (such as enzyme levels) and molecular characterizations - ‘omics’ data such as DNA and protein expression, mutations, chromosomal abnormalities – may also be available.  In addition, histopathology and molecular screening and characterization may be performed by Folio and/or by our clients.  These annotations – along with any additional genomics and proteomics analyses performed – support validation of biomarkers and their proper use in your research. These annotations enable the right samples to be selected for experimentation and for proper interpretation of study results. Determining the differences in gene and protein expression profiles among human populations in general, and within tissue and cellular contexts, and associating these findings with disease and outcomes, will prove critical to understanding the deviations among normal and abnormal biological processes – and how to tell the difference between the two. These results will not only extend our basic understanding of biology and systems, but also help in diagnosis, prognosis, and prediction of disease and treatment outcomes, as well as the development of new and better therapies. It is hoped that the identification of better sets of associated biomarkers will lead to earliest detection, and optimal course of treatment, tailored for each personal case of disease. Better drugs, with more targeted action for specific patient profiles, should also deliver better clinical outcomes. Screening large sets of selected human tissue samples from Folio Biosciences is often the most beneficial for studying diseases like cancer. However, these tissue based studies are equally relevant for a wide range of disease research including neurological conditions, metabolic diseases, and virtually any area of biology or medicine where there are differences in disease and outcome among patients that can be examined more closely at the level of biomarkers in available human tissue samples. For rare or complex diseases, including those impacted by lifestyle and environmental factors as well as genetics, the identification and use of new biomarkers may be critical to making progress in understanding and treating these conditions. For these studies, the well-annotated clinical patient documentation of Folio’s biospecimens is essential and cannot be replicated with tissue-free in vitro methods.