Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Research Consortuim
CRC Research CRC Sites Clinical Trials For Patients Biorepository Publications & News How to Donate

CRC Sites

The Tissue Core of this consortium provides the necessary infrastructure for all the projects to achieve their potential and expedite their findings.

CRC Tissue Core

Biorepository | Cytogenetics (FISH) | Cellular Kinetics and VH studies

CRC Biorepository (CORE C-Tissue Core)

Biorepository updates: Click HERE for a PDF of the Biorepository Update

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), the most common adult leukemia in western societies, is a lymphoproliferative disease of B-cells that accumulate in the lymphoid tissues, blood, and bone marrow, causing myelosuppression and immune deficiency. This CLL consortium investigates new molecular targets that could potentially lead to the development of novel and effective treatments for patients with this disease. Such discoveries occur from analyses of primary specimens of this leukemia.

The Biorepository of this consortium provides the necessary infrastructure for all the projects to achieve their potential and expedite their findings. It is an integral component of the CRC since it processes and banks specimens that are needed for all projects and furnishes an accurate and complete characterization of each CLL specimen and allows for hypothesis-driven basic and clinical studies to be performed by the members of the consortium.

The CRC Biorepository performs all the studies with the patient’s informed consent that is approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of each CRC site and maintained according to the guidelines established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Patient privacy is maintained throughout all activities of the biorepository.

Tissue Core Duties

  1. The Tissue Core serves as the central repository for all CLL samples diagnosed and collected from the participating CRC sites and used for all CRC studies. The processing and storage of each sample is performed according to established standard operating procedures, given a unique identifier number and logged into a sample-accrual database with its corresponding clinical, cytogenetics, and demographic data. All patients are consented in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, for the collection and use of their samples for institutional review board-approved research purposes.

    Clinical data is de-identified in compliance with HIPAA regulations.

    The CLL samples are collected close to diagnosis, pre treatment, as specified by CRC clinical protocols, and from affected family members with CLL for targeted genetic studies.

    Click below to read more about Familial CLL or click to download the following resources:

    Read more about Familial CLL
    Participation Letter
    General Information for Familial Studies Participants
    Familial History Questionnaire

    QA/QC procedures are in place for all SOPs and equipment used by this biorepository. The Tissue Core performs all activities according to the NIH “Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources Guidelines”.

  2. The Tissue Core performs a basic set of assays, using established SOPs, on the viably stored CLL samples to determine specific sample characteristics.

    The surface antigen phenotype of each sample is determined by multiparameter flow cytometric analysis. In addition, the expression of of ZAP-70 the IgVH mutation status is determined on all samples received. Additional project-specific flow cytometry testing are performed on specific samples for hypothesis-driven studies as requested by the CRC investigators.

  3. The Tissue Core acquires serial samples during the disease progression of all CLL patients that are registered in the CRC. This enables the CRC investigators to examine for longitudinal changes in the leukemia cell's genotype, biochemistry, and/or immunologic phenotype and correlate these data to clinical outcome.

  4. The Tissue Core obtains the interphase Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) and karyotype data that is associated with the acquired CLL sample according to the established SOPs and QA/QCs this data on a quarterly basis. The acquisition of this data occurs when the patient is first enrolled in the CRC and for all subsequent blood draws (serial samples.)

    This standardized cytogenetics data provides accurate and uniform interphase FISH studies for CRC clinical trials and research investigators.

  5. The Tissue Core distributes specific banked and characterized samples to the CRC investigators for hypothesis-driven studies.

    The distribution of these characterized samples occurs when an investigator requests the number and type of samples required and completes a Sample Acquisition Form. This form requires a description of the proposed hypothesis, the outcome of the project, and the number and type of samples requested. Other requested data such as clinical and demographic data also can be made available to the investigator via the electronic database.

    This trafficking and distribution of uniformly characterized CLL samples, with their associated surface phenotype, IgVH mutation status, cytogenetics, clinical, and demographic data, facilitates and expedites the CRC investigators in their studies of the biology and evolution of CLL.

Resources Generated by the Tissue Core

The resources generated by the Tissue Core include a large number of banked CLL samples from patients diagnosed at different institutions across the country. In addition, the basic set of data collected on each of these samples allows CRC investigators to retrieve desired samples for specific hypothesis-driven studies. The data on each sample (including longitudinal time points on each patient) comprises clinical data, demographic data, immunophenotyping, IgVH, karyotype, and data from the hypothesis-driven studies. This interactive information on each CLL sample allows CRC investigators and clinicians to better understand the biology of CLL and perform improved prognosis and clinical trials for this leukemia. In addition, the standardization and validation of FISH studies will allow for accurate and uniform FISH data for clinical trials and CRC research investigators. The cytogenetics data (FISH & karyotype) in the CRC Core A-TCMS database) that is associated with each CLL patient sample is a crucial added value to each CLL sample.

Click here to view the resources generated by the Tissue Core are reflected in the publications by the CRC investigators.

Tissue Core Team:
Esther Avery, Monica Cook, Laura Rassenti, Charlene Gutierrez and Sylvia Shen


Cheson BD, Bennett JM, Grever M, et al. National Cancer Institute-sponsored Working Group guidelines for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: revised guidelines for diagnosis and treatment. Blood 1996;87:4990-4997.

Hallek M, Cheson BD, Catovsky D, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: a report from the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (IWCLL) updating the National Cancer Institute-Working Group (NCI-WG) 1996 guidelines. Blood. 2008;111:5446-5456.

Chiorazzi, N. Rai, K.R., Ferrarini, M. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. NEJM 2005;352;8:804-815.

contact us home