Origins

In the past in the Radboud university medical centre various departments set up private biobanks for clinical researchers. For some time now left-over biomaterial was also collected, with patient consent, for future research. The main purpose of the Radboud Biobank, an example of a clinical biobank, is to collect new material that is specifically donated by Radboud university medical centre patients for future scientific medical research. Besides this, where plausible, the Radboud Biobank will take over the management of existing sub-collections. As well as these collections for specific patient groups there are also population based collections with data from the general population.

Essential infrastructure

Although many, often smaller, biobanks have been established in the last decennia, the interest in biobanking has increased enormously in the last years. This trend has been influenced by a number of factors. One of the most important factors is undoubtedly the success that researchers and doctors have already attained with their biobanks. With the biobank material genes were discovered that cause diseases or clearly increase the chances of developing a disease. By following blood parameters from patients, doctors were able to improve existing treatment and to tailor the treatment to the needs of specific patient groups. The huge development in technology has also given biobanking a boost. The techniques for genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, glycomics etc. are continuously advancing and improving. This enables researchers to generate and analyse huge amounts of data. Since 2012 techniques are available that can read all 20,000 human genes in one step. This development that is known as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has brought on a revolution in the field of medical science.  Screening of the genome for the entire population is in reach. NGS has accelerated the growth of biobanks enormously because in combination with clinical data it offers research opportunities never known before. It is not without cause that the biobank has been called a 'gold mine' for the clinical researcher. In short, biobanks increase research opportunities and improve patient care. For this reason the Radboud Biobank is an indispensable part of the infrastructure of the Radboud UMC.