Tissue Banking and Research

The Norwich Skin Tumour Unit is dedicated to undertaking research into all aspects of skin cancer. When you have an operation for a skin cancer often there is enough tumour left over after standard analysis, such that some of it could be shared with with other researchers. Where we can predict this situation in advance, we will let you know and ask you if would allow us to use some of your tumour for medical research.

We have produced a Patient Information Sheet which explains more about donating samples. If you wish, you can give your permission for left over material collected as part of your diagnosis or treatment to be donated. You can also agree for additional samples to be collected during your procedure or during your follow-up care, provided that such removal does not create any detrimental effects for you or require you to have any additional procedures.

We usually ask your permission to use the following things for research:

  • Live tumour cells
  • Blood
  • Normal skin, either adjacent to the tumour or at a different body site that is being operated upon

We will ask you to sign a consent form to show that you have agreed to allow us to use your tissue for research. Any tissue that we use requires your permission and it will be highlighted on the consent form. Participating in research in this way is purely voluntary and you can withdraw your consent at any time, without having to state a reason, and this will not affect the treatment that you receive from us.

Norwich Biorepository

The tissue and specimens are handled by the Norwich Biorepository. Please click on the link for more information.

Research ethics approval

Some research projects have their own ethics approval from the National Research Ethics Service to use human material donated by patients specifically for that project. However, many projects do not have this type of approval and could therefore benefit from the use of material donated through the Biorepository. Norwich Research Park’s Biorepository research ethics approval requires researchers to ask patients visiting the Trust if they would be willing to donate certain material (e.g. blood, unused biopsy material, sputum) to the Norwich Biorepository for the purpose of medical research and for the development of new treatments.


The Norwich Biorepository is fully compliant with the regulations laid down by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA).