Bio-Repository Database System for the John Wayne Cancer Institute

April 18, 2017

Research has always been a fundamental focus at JWCI. Beginning in the 1970s, Donald L. Morton, MD, began collecting specimens and clinical data for his patients, first at UCLA and then continuing here at the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Providence Saint John’s Health Center (PSJHC).

In 2006, we made significant progress in our ability to support cutting-edge cancer research when Framework Solutions, a Los Angeles based software and database developer, helped us to design a new clinical data and specimen repository database system. The primary function of this system is to track biological specimens that have been collected for research, along with associated clinical data. 

Our bio-repository’s key stats:

  • Contains over 40 years of data
  • Tracks over 1.8 million cancer specimens in our freezer banks
  • Contains clinical data for over 15,000 patients

Specimen_Repository4 Our system also includes a comprehensive clinical research module that maintains diagnosis, treatment and follow-up history data for the research subjects treated at Providence Saint John's Health Center, and a protocol module designed to ensure research compliance.

The repository’s unique features include:

  • Empowering users to create aliquots
  • The ability to perform assay testing on a range of different specimen types
  • Automated routing of specimens to various labs for testing
  • Extensive cross linking with clinical trial data
  • Built in IRB consent compliance
  • Advanced query and reporting capabilities in order to provide investigators with efficient access to the data they need.

How It Works

Specimen_Repository3_LeeThe bio-repository software enables our browser based users to perform a variety of specimen actions; including the splitting of vials into child aliquots. Every process and assay action performed on the individual vial is documented as part of its touch history. The specimen receipts are carefully recorded and associated with consented patients. The built-in auditing feature is designed to keep track of every action, and allows for correlation with patients’ clinical course.

Recent Updates:

In 2016, we began the development of a new document tracking module designed to vastly improve the management and monitoring of research protocols. This system will facilitate management of the rapidly increasing volume of IRB submissions. Deployment is scheduled for late spring, 2017.

Specimen_Repository2In addition, in August 2016, we extended our bio-repository research database to the Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, CA, another leading patient-centered cancer research facility. We hope to continue the deployment of the bio-repository database to other regional Providence ministries and beyond.