The Newly Established Philippine General Hospital Biobank in the Philippines

Dr. Rodney Dofitas, Prof. Michael Velarde, Dr. Ma. Antonia Habana, Dr. Apple Valparaiso and Dr. Shiela Macalindong, Ma. Easter Joy Sajo PhD, Joji Marie Teves MSc.

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Biobank, based at the University of the Philippines-Manila, was established In January 2018 as a unique, investigator-driven initiative to understand the genetic and molecular characteristics of cancer among Filipinos. The government-based biobank collects patient-derived tumor specimens, peripheral blood specimens, hair and urine for long-term storage and application into various biomedical or clinical research pursuits. PGH biobanks new facility envisions that the collected tumor specimens from Filipino cancer patients can extend beyond the institute and can support nationwide studies and even globally, as means for representation of the Filipino community. Moreover, the investigator-driven study supporting the newly established biobank further aims to explore the environmental exposure factors including endocrine-disrupting chemicals and ethnogeographical biodiversity in a groundbreaking attempt to find a cure for cancer. The project is seen to expand all over the country to obtain high quality biospecimens, specifically breast cancer, in the future. As of the moment. the biobank have established collaborations with the University of California in San Francisco and the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and continues to be open for potential collaborators.