Health Professionals Lab Research

Tumor bank

  • An opportunity for me.....

    "As a surgeon who cares for patients with cancer, I feel it is my responsibility to assist in supporting cancer research through the procurement of tumors to the Legacy Tumor Bank."
    -Nathalie Johnson, Director, Legacy Cancer Institute


Legacy Tumor Bank

Legacy Research Institute
1225 NE 2nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-413-5421

Improving care for cancer patients requires research into the molecular mechanisms of cancer cells.  To investigate these mechanisms, fresh tumor specimens are required.  Legacy has established a tumor bank to make these specimens available to cancer researchers here and across the country.

The Legacy Tumor Bank stores human tissue samples from cancer patients to be used in research studies aimed at finding a cure for cancer. In April 2006, the Tumor Bank received its first donation, a colon cancer. It has since received more than 600 tissue donations, with one third being breast cancer tissue.

Legacy patients recognize the importance of this work. As one donor said, "[This] is an opportunity for a part of me to have a connection with helping you find treatment or a cure for breast cancer. My most heartfelt wish is that no other woman must face the loss of a breast due to cancer."

The Legacy Tumor Bank also serves as the core facility for The t.r.e.v.a. Project, a statewide tumor banking project in collaboration with The Treva Hoffman Foundation and Lions Club International.

Frequently asked questions on donating tumor tissue to the Legacy Tumor Bank

What is tumor banking?
Tumor banking is the storing of human tissue that has been removed during a medical procedure. This extra tissue is not needed for your diagnosis or treatment. With your written consent, this tissue is sent to the Tumor Bank, where it is frozen and stored. Scientists use tissues from this bank to find better ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat cancer in the future. Tissue donated to medical research is not used in either organ transplantation or blood transfusions.

Will donating my tissue change my surgery or care?
Regardless of whether you decide to donate your tissue or not, your operation and medical care will be exactly the same. Your decision will not affect how much tissue is removed during surgery, and it will not change the number of visits to your doctor. During your medical procedure, your doctor will remove all the tissue needed for a thorough diagnosis and treatment. A portion of the tissue that is not needed for your cancer care, which would otherwise be discarded, is sent to the Tumor Bank.

Who benefits from the Tumor Bank?
When you donate your tissue for research, you are helping future cancer patients.

Areas of research include:

  • Learning how cancer cells work
  • Identifying the causes of cancer
  • Developing new cancer drugs and diagnostic tests
  • Discovering "markers" that predict who will respond to treatment

How will my privacy be protected?

Before sending out your tissue sample, the Legacy Tumor Bank will code it with a number instead of your name and take out all identifying information, such as your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. The Tumor Bank will only include information that is needed for the researcher to perform the study.

What do I do if I want to participate?
Tell your surgeon or nurse that you want to contribute specimen to the Legacy Tumor Bank. You may do this at any time before surgery.  A Tumor Bank representative may contact you before or after surgery to obtain consent.  The Tumor Bank must have written consent before making your tissue available to researchers.

What do I do if I need more information?
If you may be interested in donating to the Legacy Tumor Bank, and want more information, please feel free to contact the Tumor Bank directly or discuss the Tumor Bank with your surgeon. You may also download the consent form from this web page for your review or request that we send you one by regular mail. If you have a specific question or would like additional information about the Legacy Tumor Bank, click here to send an email message.

Thank you for your consideration.

R. Serene Perkins, MD, FACS, Program Director
John Ost, Research Assistant
Legacy Tumor Bank
PO Box 3950
Portland, OR 97208

Phone: 503-413-5421 Fax: 503-413-5384

Make a tax-deductible donation to the Legacy Tumor Bank in memory of your loved one.

You can make a one-time or recurring gift to the Legacy Tumor Bank here.
Designate "Legacy Research Institute" in the drop down box and enter "Tumor Bank" in the comments box as well as Tribute information in honor of your loved one.

The Moto District Race for a Cure.
All proceeds go to the Legacy Tumor Bank!

The Treva Hoffman Foundation.
Expect Miracles!

Legacy Tumor Bank in the news:

Treva Hoffman's determination leads to Oregon's first cooperative tumor bank for cancer research


Tumor Bank Consent Form