The Sanford Health Biobank serves as a library for researchers to help make discoveries in breast cancer research, as well as other diseases.
"More and more people are realizing how important it is to have these samples available, furthering this kind of study, particularly in genetics," Biobank Director Chun-Hung Chan said.
The Biobank is a collection of blood and tissue samples. Researchers use it to study the genetics behind breast cancer. Currently, more than 2,000 patients are enrolled in the Biobank, representing more than 6,000 samples.
"Being able to have access to those large numbers of samples really makes the research much better. We'll be able to look at more samples and find more of those markers that might indicate why somebody may get a particular disease," Chan said.
This research will allow them help to profile individuals and discover more effective treatment.
"Once we learn from those treatments, then we can go back and be much more preventative. Because if we know a women is at risk then starts to develop breast cancer, we have already learned what the more effective treatments are for that type of breast cancer because there are many, many types of breast cancers. There are many different changes that can occur in the DNA, resulting in the tumor that is breast cancer," Vice President of Sanford Research David Pearce said.
"I am hoping that this year we will actually double the amount of enrollments that we have had in previous years. I'm hoping that we will hit the 5,000 mark by the end of this year," Chan said.
For more information on the Biobank and to learn how you can be a part of this research, visit the Biobank’s website.