For Health Professionals

Micahel J. Becich, MD, PhD
Department of Biomedical Informatics 
University of Pittsburgh 
5607 Baum Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA  15206
Office: 412-606-6453
E-Mail: Becich@pitt.edu

Please refer to the Mesothelioma Research Bank [CDC NIOSH U24OH009077 National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank for Translational Research] in the Acknowledgements section of your publication. Also, please inform us of any abstracts or publications resulting from your use of the NMVB.

Please contact the NMVB for information on charges.

The NMVB Research Evaluation Panel will review all applications submitted to the resource. If the REP deems an application meritorious, it will recommend that the institution which owns the biospecimen make it available to the applicant. Final decisions regarding the distribution of NMVB specimens are made by the PI’s.

For instructions on how to apply for NMVB specimens, please visit the Apply for Specimens page of our website.

Biospecimen and associated data sets are available for research studies judged to be meritorious by the Research Evaluation Panel (REP), an independent scientific review group. The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank collection is particularly well-suited for evaluation of diagnostic and prognostic markers since it includes mesothelioma tissue with associated clinical and outcome data. This valuable finite collection is intended to support studies that require archival tissue and clinical and outcome data. The Resource can provide documentation of the availability of required specimens in support of applications for research funding. The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank is available both to academic researchers (at or above assistant professor or equivalent; applications directly by post docs or students are not accepted) and to commercial organizations which need access to specimens for evaluation of diagnostic, prognostic or other assays related to mesothelioma cancer. Studies on National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank material may be funded by Federal or non-Federal sources.

To determine whether the NMVB has the specimens you need for your research, search the online NMVB database, which is available free of charge. For assistance using the database or to obtain more information about the specimens for which you may apply, please contact us.

National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank to provide mesothelioma tissue samples with clinical annotation to researchers. This is a model-driven bioinformatics system that integrates multimodal datasets into one architecture supported by a set of Common Data Elements with their attributes in order to facilitate basic science, clinical as well translational research. The NMVB data warehouse system is based on the Clinical Annotation Engine (CAE) suite of Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid network developed by the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. It has various components such as data annotation and query engine, tools for image storage and analysis, and a data-warehouse for genomic and proteomics data sets. In addition to working to create a state-of-the-art bioinformatics platform, the NMVB team wanted to optimize the usefulness of the resource for the mesothelioma research community. To achieve this goal, the NMVB solicited input from mesothelioma researchers with a customized survey. The results of this survey influenced the type of specimens and related annotation included in the NMVB. If you have suggestions on how to further improve the NMVB, please contact us.

The NMVB is a bioinformatics system that integrates clinical, epidemiologic, pathologic, outcome, and genotype data for large collection of mesothelioma-related specimens into a single data annotation engine. Investigators can utilize the information contained in the database and can also apply for use of NMVB tissue specimens. The NMVB is “virtual” because it links together data associated with specimens collected and stored at different institutions across the country. Regardless of their physical location, NMVB specimens are all associated with a set of Common Data Elements to maintain consistency between samples and to facilitate semantic and syntactic interoperability using controlled vocabulary and ontology, in order to make the data understandable and shareable for end-users and flexible for the system. The NMVB collection is particularly well-suited for evaluation of diagnostic and prognostic markers since it includes mesothelioma tissue with associated clinical and outcome data.

For Patients/Family Members

For information about mesothelioma and other types of cancer, please visit the websites of the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, or the Meso Foundation.

If you would like additional information about cancer or to receive a personalized response to your specific questions about cancer, we encourage U.S. residents to call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time to speak with a Cancer Information Specialist. Deaf and hard of hearing callers with TTY equipment may call 1-800-332-8615. Callers also have the option of listening to recorded information about cancer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.