Lombardi Researchers Recognized at International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories Annual Meeting

June 8, 2010

The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) awarded the Asterand-ISBER Biospecimen Science Award at its annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to Christopher Loffredo, PhD, program leader for Carcinogenesis, Biomarkers, and Epidemiology, David Goerlitz, PhD, manager of the Genomics and Epigenomics Shared Resource, and Trent Jackson, repository manager of the Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology Shared Resource.

The poster featured research by the two Shared Resources in collaboration with Loffredo’s R01-funded bladder cancer study on gender differences in bladder cancer risk factors. Recruitment sites for the study are located in Egypt, where the population largely abstains from alcohol, which required researchers to look for non-invasive, cost-effective, and applicable methods of obtaining high-quality genomic DNA from individuals and populations that abstain from alcohol.

A number of commercially available saliva collection methods and DNA extraction techniques were tested to fulfill these criteria. However, the team’s data indicated that the best performing method for saliva collection and DNA isolation was the “swish and spit” method developed by Goerlitz, using 10.0 ml Crest Pro-Health alcohol-free mouthwash and DNA isolation with the Epicentre MasterPure DNA Purification kit. The cost of the method is approximately $2.00 per sample.

Pilot testing with research subjects in Egypt revealed that >95% accepted the saliva collection procedure and agreed to participate in research using this method. The bladder cancer study will ultimately collect saliva from over 1,000 cases and 1,000 controls, and the method will be useful in similar situations where a low-cost, high-yield, and alcohol-free protocol is desirable.

Author: Nkem T. Wellington