NCRI Confederation of Cancer Biobanks

The NCRI CCB was set up in 2006 to promote and disseminate consensus on best practices for biobanks, provide advice and mutual support to biobanks, and to promote networking between biobanks by developing procedures and practices that facilitate the sharing of resources.


For more information please contact Helen Pitman, 

CCB Core Principles

  1. Improve outcomes of people with cancer by facilitating research using tissue.
  2. Access to tissue located in biobanks should be as open and made as accessible as possible.
  3. Working with commercial partners can provide new medicines and diagnostics and shouldn’t be avoided.
  4. Have a commitment to improve sample standards, hold high quality samples and provide a quality service to researchers seeking tissue for research.


To facilitate our core principles we are championing that each biobank should have a clear website, on which the following information should be displayed:

  1. The type of samples included in the biobank
    • cancer type
    • sample type.
  2. The level of access:
    • local only
    • only if working with local teams
    • open (including after assessment for scientific validity).
  3. The process for applications from commercial organisations.
  4. The method of assessment of applications:
    • independent panel
    • curator/management group only.
  5. The ethical approvals required:
    • covered by the RTB (if within the scope of their approval)
    • separate ethical approval required.
  6. Price or estimates of costs of access.
  7.  Email or telephone information for access.

» For more information please read the CCB Guiding Principles (PDF)

» Read our publication in the RCPath Bulletin detailing a UK overview of biobanks according to the above core prinicples and criteria (PDF)

CCB Chair, Professor Andy Hall

Andy has recently retired from Newcastle University, where he was an Associate Dean with responsibility for bioresources.

Andy Hall picture

Andy speaks about the CM-Path Biobanking initiative: “during my career as a translational scientist I came to appreciate the need to access good quality samples from patients as these gave information about disease mechanisms not available by other means- such as animal models and cell lines. This lead to an interest in developing high quality biobanks, working with the Confederation of Cancer Biobanks- now part of the CM- Path initiative. I am very optimistic that over the next few years CM-Path will support access to samples by facilitating the sharing of best practice in the sector.”

CCB Steering Group

Jane HairDr Jane Hair

Professor Valerie Speirs, University of AberdeenVal Speirs Headshot

RaffaDr Raffaella Tate, Consumer Representative


Professor Gareth Thomas, University of Southampton