Kits & Collections





Q: I am having trouble obtaining the required tissue specimens from an outside facility.  What should I do?

A: Assuming the patient has consented to have their tissue banked at the NRG Biospecimen Bank, the site is required to provide the tissue as specified in section 10 of the study protocol. Exceptions cannot be granted by the bank. Our pathologists have written a letter to submitting pathology departments (link) explaining this requirement.  Please provide this letter to the institution holding the tissue.  Note that sites are compensated for the costs of providing specimens. Most protocols do have alternatives to block submissions.

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Q: When will the results of testing / central review to determine eligibility be available?  Can we request that testing be rushed?

A: We understand that patients cannot be treated on study until their eligibility has been confirmed, so these tests are one of our highest daily priorities.  However, we cannot guarantee a quicker turnaround than what is specified in the protocol, as this depends on the lab performing the testing.  To ensure the quickest turnaround, please be sure to completely fill out all required paperwork and send it with the specimens. CHeck the protocol for the turnaround time and make sure the patient is aware of this as well before scheduling their next appointment

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Q: When can we ship frozen specimens?

A: Please DO NOT ship on Thursdays or Fridays. Only ship Monday - Wednesdays for domestic, and Monday - Tuesday for international shipments. Even when packages are shipped using an overnight service, a shipment may be delayed and take an extra day to be delivered. All packages with dry ice are routed through Tennessee, even those from the west coast. If a package shipped on Thursday is delayed and the Friday delivery is missed, it will not be delivered to us until the following Monday, at which point the specimens will have thawed.  However, if a package only takes one extra day to be delivered, the specimens may still be frozen upon arrival. Our building is closed for deliveries on weekends and all UCSF holidays.

Please note that this policy applies only to frozen specimens.  Pathology specimens can be sent at any time, but if they will be shipped over the weekend, using a cold pack is advisable.

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Q: What address should we ship to?

A: Use these addresses only for packages being shipped to the NRG Biospecimen Bank- San Francisco.  Some studies involve shipping specimens to other NRG Biospecimen Banks in Columbus or Pittsuburgh or other approved labs, so please check section 10 of the protocol carefully.

For any packages shipped by FedEx, UPS or a similar service, including all frozen specimens, please use the following address:

NRG Biospecimen Bank- San Francisco
University of California San Francisco
2340 Sutter St. Rm. S341
San Francisco, CA  94115


For any packages sent through the US Postal Service (documents and non-urgent pathology only), please use the following address:

NRG Biospecimen Bank
University of California San Francisco
Dept of Radiation Oncology- Box 1800
2340 Sutter St. Rm. S341
San Francisco, CA  94143

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Q: Can I order kits before registering a patient?

A: Yes.  It is a good idea to have specimen collection kits for one patient per study on hand.  If you are just opening a study at your site, and have IRB approval, we will provide kits for one patient.  You can order more as soon as you start enrolling patients.  To order kits, please use this order form (link). Allow 5-10 business days for kits to arrive as they are shipped by Fed Ex Ground

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Q: Who pays for shipping?

A: The NRG Biospecimen Bank pays to ship specimen collection kits to your site via FedEx Ground and will provide institutions within the US a pre‐paid FedEx return label for you to send frozen specimens back to us for each case. Batch shipping all timepoints from one case is encourged, or batch samples from other cases.

Sites outside the US can request a single‐use account number and reference number to use for each shipment of frozen specimens. Any site that uses our account number without a reference number provided by us will be billed for their shipment.

Please do not use the “bill to recipient” option when shipping to us, we will bill this back to you. Request an airbill from us and we will get it to you within 24 hours . 

Note: NRG does not pay for routine ambient‐temperature shipments of pathology materials (slides, blocks, punches) unless specifically stated otherwise in the protocol. This is considered part of the general case reimbursement.

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Q: How do I request kits? 

A: If you are just opening a study at your site, we will provide kits for one patient once you have IRB approval.  You can order more as soon as you start enrolling patients.  To order kits, please use this order form (link). Please allow 7-10 business days for kits to arrive as we ship by Fed Ex Ground. If you need a kit immediately please provide us with your Fed Ex account info or label before 10am PST.

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Q: I have a batch frozen specimens ready to send, but I don’t have a shipping label.  Where can I get one?

A: We ask sites to batch ship their samples if they have access to a -80C Freezer. Please use this order form to request a shipping label (link). Please do not use the “bill to recipient” option when shipping to us. Request an airbill from us by 10am PST and we will get it to you within 24 hours. We only provide one label per case so each shipment must include one new pre-treatment samples. We cannot provide labels for single timepointsWe are unable to process same day label requests if received after 10am pst. Only ship Monday-Wednesday. We will not provide labels for thursday shipments.

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Q: Can I request that specimens be returned to my facility?

A: When patients consent to be enrolled on an NCI clinical trial and consent to have their biospecimen material submitted for research those materials remain at the biobank until they are needed for an NCI-approved project.  We do not return those materials to the enrolling institution because the patient has consented to have their materials used in future RTOG research. We will return material for immediate patient care or legal requirements or if we can punch it before returning. Each protocol has specific requirements. If your site wont release the block we recommend checking the protoocol if there is an alternative submission permitted.

Please do not send material if we cannot bank it. If the patient consented we should be allowed to keep and bank all material submitted.

If you need the material back for patient care or for us to punch and return please download and fill out our return request form (link) and email it to us at [email protected]. Return requests will be reviewed on a case‐by‐case basis. We will punch blocks if enough tumor tissue exists and the protocol provides this option.

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Q: I received blood kits that are missing the blood draw tubes. Was this intentional?

A: Yes, NRG Oncology does not provide blood draw tubes in kits unless specified in protocol.

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