The Biological Resource Center (BRC EPIGENETEC)

The Biological Resource Center (BRC EPIGENETEC) was set up in November 2001, following a call for tenders for “Cohorts and collections” from Inserm.

The global project of the BRC EPIGENETEC is to allow the collection, the conservation and the distribution of biological samples within the framework of studies seeking to identify factors of gene-environment interaction of human pathologies. The BRC was created to provide various lab units* with a structure capable of managing thousands of samples while allowing their collection in the framework of national and European multicenter studies.

The collections kept so far were collected for studies on specific pathologies. They constitute a precious bank of non-renewable biological materials. Most studies concern cancer, either through large case-control studies or through satellite biological studies of phase II or III therapeutic trials, seeking to identify predictive factors of response to anticancer treatments.

These collections make it possible:

  •  To understand the genetic mechanisms of development of certain cancers (molecular epidemiology) in relation with exposure to certain environmental risk factors as investigated through epidemiological questionnaires.
  • To understand the inter-individual variability of toxicity or response to anticancer treatments (pharmacogenetics).

The BRC is currently managed by four research engineers.

Today, the BRC hosts about 40 biological collections and manages more than 210,000 samples of human origin and their derivatives.

The samples are kept at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital (Paris 15th) for long-term storage.

Main characteristics of the conserved collections:

  1.  Patients with digestive cancers included in therapeutic trials allowing pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic studies
  2. Epidemiological surveys allowing the study of gene-environment interactions (breast cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, upper aerodigestive tract cancer, childhood leukemia, adult lymphoma)

* INSERM units U1018 and U1138 EQ26; PRODIGE Group (from the French-speaking Federation of Digestive Cancerology); Digestive group of the National Federation of Cancer Centers.