Our Research and the Robert Lane Tissue Bank

The Robert Lane Tissue Bank is an internationally important resource for researchers into penile, testicular and prostate cancer.

Over 55,000 men are diagnosed each year in the UK with prostate, testicular or penile cancer and sadly these numbers are rising. Tragically, around 12,000 of these men will die from one of these cancers.

Research is vital to understand why men develop these cancers and to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Located within the Centre for Molecular Oncology at the Barts Cancer Institute in London, The Robert Lane Tissue Bank is headed by Professor Dan Berney.

The tissue bank holds samples which are connected to clinical trial data, making it an invaluable resource for future research. The size of the collection, and the way the specimens are connected to clinical trials, is globally unique.

Professor Berney’s work is focused on the pathology and natural history of prostate, testicular and penile cancer. He is focused on translating basic research into practical treatments for patients with novel tests and bespoke predictive treatments.

The collections of tissue samples are available not only for research by the Robert Lane Tissue Bank but by collaborators in the UK and worldwide.

What is in the Tissue Bank?

The tissue bank holds over 13,000 tissue specimens, including:

  • Tumours from nine separate clinical trials.
  • Over 600 penile cancer specimens, the largest collection in Europe.
  • Over 3,000 testicular cancer specimens, the largest collection in Europe.
  • Over 6,000 prostate cancer specimens.
  • The unique Trans-Atlantic Prostate Group resource for prostate cancer of now over 2,000 prostate cancers.
  • Over 1,200 blood samples, collected and separated into Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs), plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets for separate storage and future research.
  • Access to the 10,000 strong STAMPEDE cohort, the largest collection of prostate cancers in a clinical trial.

We never forget that every sample is donated by someone dealing with a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment. We treat our tissue samples with profound respect and are forever grateful to the donors for thinking of others at such a difficult time.

Circulating Tumour Cell Research

Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) are held in the tissue bank for experimental research. This research is about cancer genetics and circulating biomarkers, including Circulating Tumour Cells. The aim of the project, which has previously received Orchid funding, is to:

  • Understand how prostate cancer starts, develops and responds to therapies.
  • Develop biomarkers to help with diagnosis, understanding how the disease might progress in individuals and how to predict treatment outcomes. This research is also relevant to testicular and penile cancers.

About Robert Lane CBE

In 2020, we renamed the tissue bank in honour of Robert Lane CBE, the former Chair of Orchid who died unexpectedly while still representing Orchid.

Robert Lane served Orchid and the male cancer cause with great distinction, drive and commitment for twelve years. He is remembered with much affection and warmth by the Orchid trustees, staff and our wider community.

Our Research Leaders

The tissue bank is led by Professor Dan Berney, a global expert in male cancer:

Professor Dan Berney MB B Chir FRCPath.

Head of the Robert Lane Tissue Bank

Professor Berney is an Honorary Professor of Genito-urinary Pathology. He has lectured throughout the world and is an internationally recognised pathology expert in the three male genito-urinary cancers. Read full bio.

Meet all our researchers, past and present.

Research Achievements

Find out more about the research achievements of our experts here.

Current Research

Find out more about our current research here:

How Research is Reported

Papers are written for peer reviewed journals, especially for high impact research.

Abstracts (summaries) of research are shared with national and international clinical meetings including:

  • The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology
  • European Congress of Pathology Society
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • European University Association
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Research Institute meetings

Professor Berney also has a strong social media profile and results from Orchid studies are always tweeted from his account @Daniel _Berney which has over 3000 followers.

Please help the Robert Lane Tissue Bank

We need regular funding so that we can continue to maintain The Robert Lane Tissue Bank to support further research. We would be so grateful for any support you can give us.

Donate here

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