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Frequently asked questions

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Why are VIVO Biobank collecting samples?

VIVO Biobank collect samples from all children and young people with cancer to add to our bank of the best quality material for use in research into improving the diagnosis and treatment CYP cancer.  

How do I collect liquid samples for VIVO Biobank?

Before collecting samples, it is important to have completed the VIVO Biobank Sample Information Sheet as fully as possible.  Please include the date and times of samples and posting, along with your contact details in case we have a query.

Bone marrow

3-5 ml of bone marrow should be collected in the yellow-capped ACD tube.  Stick the barcode with the yellow stripe on the tube and the corresponding duplicate barcode in the yellow box on the Sample Information Sheet.

Peripheral blood

3-5 ml of peripheral blood should be collected in the purple-capped EDTA tube.  Stick the barcode with the purple stripe on the tube and the corresponding duplicate barcode in the purple box on the Sample Information Sheet.


10 drops (if available) should be collected in the blue-capped falcon tubes.  Stick the barcode with the blue stripe on the tube and the corresponding duplicate barcode in the blue box on the Sample Information Sheet.

What if I don't have all three samples?

This isn't a problem - just send us whichever samples you have and keep any empty tubes for re-use.

How do I send samples to VIVO Biobank?

Samples should be packed into the Safeboxes provided and posted the same day. 

  1. Place sample tubes in the spaces in the absorbent packaging, seal in the plastic bag and place in the clear compartment of the Safebox
  2. Place the completed Sample Information Sheet in the other compartment
  3. Close the lid and wrap the adhesive label around the Safebox
  4. Attach the label, ensuring you complete the return address and add the address label
  5. Samples should be posted to:
    UK Biocentre
    Units 2&3 Java Park
    Bradbourne Drive
    Milton Keynes
    MK7 8AT

How do I send samples taken on a Friday?

To maintain quality, samples taken on a Friday should be refrigerated and posted first thing on the following Monday.

My samples were taken late on a Thursday - should I post them?

If you have missed the last post on a Thursday, please refrigerate them and post first thing on the following Monday.

What about samples taken at the weekend or on Bank Holidays?

If samples are taken at the weekend, keep them refrigerated until they can be packaged and sent in the post on Monday.  Unless otherwise informed, samples taken on Bank Holidays should be refrigerated and packaged and posted on the next working day.

Separate arrangements will be made at Christmas, New Year and Easter.

Do patients need to be on a clinical trial to donate samples?

All children and young people with cancer may donate samples to VIVO Biobank, irrespective of whether they are part of a clinical trial or not.

At what age can children give consent?

Under the Human Tissue Act 2004, children and young people who are 'competent' may provide consent to the storage and use of tissue for research, regardless of their age.  A parent may give consent if this is what the child prefers or if there is doubt about whether the child understands enough to give informed consent.  In most cases, you will ask parents of children below the age of 16 to provide consent as well as asking children and young people themselves if competent.

VIVO Biobank have produced an assent form that may be used with children aged 8 years or over.  This must be accompanied by the Parent / Guardian consent form.

What do I do with the completed consent form?

Once consent has been given place the completed consent form in the patient's notes.

How does VIVO Biobank know that patients / parents have given consent?

We are notified about patient consent from the following sources:

  • VIVO Biobank Consent Form
  • VIVO Biobank Sample Information Sheet
  • VIVO Biobank Patient Registration Form

What happens if a patient / parent withdraws consent?

If consent if withdrawn for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing us via  All samples that have not been used in research projects will be destroyed and all stored data will be deleted.  VIVO Biobank will provide confirmation when this occurs.