With ‘precision medicine’ getting popular, the importance to study human biological materials and genome is getting significant. But some argue that human biological materials in a biobank aren’t effectively used. Especially they point out it is urgent to standardize data on human biological materials and revise laws and systems to make the biobank do its role.
The biobank is the organization to collect, store, and provide human biological materials and the related information. The importance of the biobank is being emphasized in accordance with the increase in the effective usage of human biological materials in research and industry fields.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) of Korea held the second biobank forum on the 8th. In the forum, Director General Dojoon Park said, “unused human biological materials aren’t meaningful. They have to be used in researches and be provided to hospitals.”
Experts participated in the forum proposed high-quality and standardized human biological materials as a way to effectively use them.
President at Biobank Center of Inha University Hospital Kim Jun-mi said, “the biobank has to get various kinds of data (DNA, RNA etc.) and securing panels that include all information such as tissues, serums, and epidemiologic and clinical data is important. The government has to standardize these items to make each organization easily make use of them.”
Kim Hyn-chul, the head of Department of R&D Planning at the Korean Health Industry Development Institute, said, “it is very important to collect, store, and analyze data in a time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The standardization is the most important fact to get high quality data.”
In the forum, some cases were introduced to standardize integrated data gathered from different organizations.
Prof. Park Rae-woong at Ajou University School of Medicine introduced ‘CMD’ (Common Data Model) that standardizes clinical data collected from different hospitals in a common system. According to the model, if clinical data collected from each hospital can be saved in an international standard language, data gathered from different countries and different organizations can be saved in one language. Because people can use the tool provided in the model, it’s easy to study using common data.
Some argue revising laws and systems fit for current situation is urgent. They point out laws and systems can’t follow the speedy changes in the medical field.
Prof. Kim So-yoon at Yonsei University College of Medicine said, “it is necessary to develop various modules for consent in accordance with different situations to make use of human biological materials.” Senior researcher Sojin Paik at Korea National Institute for Bioethics Policy said, “in case of filling out the research consent form of human biological materials, modules for consent should be provided variously.”
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