At the beginning of July, the collection of biological material samples from oncology patients at the Medical University of Gdańsk exceeded 1,000 donors. A total of 13,150 blood, plasma, skin, tumour and healthy tissue samples were collected for them. By staying active in patient recruitment, the collection is soon expected to become one of the largest oncology collections in Poland.

The specialised research unit of the Medical University of Gdańsk International Research Agenda – 3P Medicine Laboratory started its activity in September 2018 by implementing a research project entitled Mutations acquired during lifetime that lead to increased risk for human disease, with focus on cancer. The main goal of the programme was to conduct multilevel studies of genetic anomalies acquired over the course of life as risk factors for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The study required the collection of well-described, high-quality clinical material samples from patients with different types of cancer and at different stages of disease. To start scientific research as soon as possible, biobanking of the material was launched as one of the first in the programme.

Material collection from patients with four types of diagnoses began in May 2019 at five partner units: University Clinical Centre in Gdańsk, Franciszek Łukaszczyk Oncology Centre in Bydgoszcz, Maria Skłodowska-Curie National Institute of Oncology – National Research Institute’s Division in Cracow, University Hospital in Cracow and Specialist Hospital in Kościerzyna. Sample collection follows detailed collection protocols prepared by MAB staff in collaboration with pathomorphologists and surgeons. In addition, more than 70 medical and administrative staff are involved and the material collection process itself has been largely automated by providing the apparatus infrastructure and IT system for dispersed biobanking in hospital units. A specialised IT tool was created in cooperation with Bioenit Jakub Szymanowski.


In the first stage, samples were collected from patients with breast, colorectal, bladder and prostate cancers, as well as from patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Independent recruitment to the control group was also conducted. In 2020, two new diagnoses were added: pancreatic cancer and metachronous liver metastases from colorectal cancer. Beginning in September, kidney cancer patients and patients undergoing mammoreduction will be recruited.

MAB – 3P Medicine Laboratory was established thanks to funds provided by the Foundation for Polish Science as part of the International Research Agendas programme, financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the Smart Growth Operational Programme.

P.Sudara MAB
(from the left) biobank group leader Dr. Natalia Filipowicz; MAB deputy head of the MAB unit prof. Arkadiusz Piotrowski; head of the MAB unit prof. Jan Dumański; MAB project coordinator mgr inż. Agata Wojdak; biobanking technician mgr Kinga Drężek

photo: Paweł Sudara, Medical University of Gdańsk