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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Optimized Biobanking Procedures for Preservation of RNA in Tissue: Comparison of Snap-Freezing and RNAlater-Fixation Methods

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Introduction: Personalized treatment, supported by biomarkers, would improve survival of ovarian cancer patients. RNA molecules are potentially important biomarkers. The Danish CancerBiobank provides an infrastructure for handling and storage of biological material, including RNA, from Danish cancer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of handling-time and fresh-freezing versus RNAlater® fixation on RNA degradation in solid tissue from pelvic mass samples. Materials and Methods: We evaluated RNA quality in surgical tissue from patients with a pelvic mass. Corresponding samples were either fresh-frozen or fixed in RNAlater, at eight different time points after the surgery. Integrity was measured using a bioanalyzer, and the amount and quality were further investigated by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction measuring the expression of housekeeping genes B2M and HPRT1. Results: Our results show that tissue RNA is stable up to at least 180 minutes after the surgery, as the quality was comparable to the quality of RNA handled immediately. Likewise, patient RNA was of acceptable quality after both fresh-frezing and RNAlater fixation, but RNAlater fixation was slightly more effective for RNA preservation. Discussion and Conclusion: Our data suggest that RNA in pelvic mass samples is relatively stable. Knowledge about RNA stability is an important prerequisite for research in RNA biomarkers, where the challenge is to balance the need for careful RNA handling and storage with the need for effective large-scale biobanking in a busy clinical setting where patient treatment is the main priority.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)562-569
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

ID: 59089198