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UK ME/CFS Biobank Ask Me Anything thread, Thursday 14th December 2017, 2.30 to 3.30pm GMT/UTC

Discussion in 'Researcher Interactions' started by Andy, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    All of our samples are from the UK at present. It's possible that one could see geographic differences in the disease, in which case biobanks across the world would be very valuable. This is why we have tried to encourage harmonisation of protocols with our European partners.

    -- Luis
     
    Jan, Barry, Milo and 16 others like this.
  2. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Cheshire asked "I suppose different tests need a different amount of blood to be run (not sure anyway). What volume of blood is collected from a donor? On average, how many tests can be done with one donor?"

    Just under 100ml of blood is collected from each donor in twelve different tubes. Two of these are immediately processed for clinical tests to exclude other diseases which could give similar symptoms. The other ten tubes are processed at the UCL-RFH and stored as up to 46 aliquots (tiny tubes) which are then frozen. Each aliquot can actually be used several times in one piece of research (i.e. they can be used again and again)- meaning each blood donation could be used in hundreds of tests!
     
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  3. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator

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    How do you find patients. Could we help? Are there questionnaires that are used to select people

    This question was asked on twitter relating to this
    "I have filled in numerous questionnaires for the US Solve ME initiative. Do you have an equivalent for finding future patients or to indicate potential future areas of research?"
     
    Jan, Barry, Milo and 14 others like this.
  4. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    If you would like to send an email to mecfsbiobank@lshtm.ac.uk you can register your interest! Unfortunately, we can't use everyone- samples have to be back in the biobank within 6 hours of collection, so we only collect from certain geographic areas, and we also have to exclude people for various other reasons (age, illness, certain medications, bias etc.). But please do get in touch.
     
    Binkie4, Jan, eva and 20 others like this.
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    ME/CFS patients occasionally have biopsies done for various reasons - for example, a stomach biopsy if they're having stomach problems.

    Should we be asking for the samples to be sent on the biolab, once they've served their purpose? Or would the non-random sampling, and/or practicalities of correct storage, etc. rule this out?
     
    Barry, Joel, Indigophoton and 10 others like this.
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    How can patients help you (in addition to financially)?
     
    Binkie4, Jan, eva and 12 others like this.
  7. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    A less technical one. How is the fundraising going? How far along to your target are you and what does your target amount allow you to fund?
     
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  8. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Would it be possible to do a local sampling drive in big cities and have the samples couriered over to you together or something? Not sure if difficulty in getting patients is currently a limiting factor for you.
     
    Jan, Joel, Indigophoton and 7 others like this.
  9. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry to miss this one! We actually do something very similar in reverse- we have a number of samples from people with MS, which we use as controls (alongside healthy controls) in various studies. Theoretically the opposite is of course possible, (using ME/CFS as a control to study another disease), and our samples could be used for that purpose. Hopefully our studies using MS controls will elucidate some things about that disease as well.

    -- Jack/Eliana
     
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  10. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you so much to the Biobank stars for taking the time to answer our questions, and for all the excellent work you do. I've really enjoyed this encounter.
     
    ahimsa, Jan, eva and 18 others like this.
  11. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Whew! An easy one... Our fundraising is going really well- including Gift Aid, offline donations and the amount raised by the wonderful Janet Baker (check her out: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janetbaker-me-cfs-biobank) we have raised over £11,000. We wanted to get to £10,000, and £25,000 is the dream- our next target is £15k.

    As the fundraising concludes, we want to move on to finding new collaborators to release our samples to:

    -- £10,000 would enable a further blood sample and data release,
    -- £25,000 would enable the release of samples for two or three studies

    Full info is available here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ukmecfsbiobank

    -- Jack
     
    Jan, eva, Barry and 24 others like this.
  12. JamBob

    JamBob Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Patients often report experiencing negative attitudes towards people with ME/CFS when interacting with members of the medical profession in the UK.

    Just wondered - do you have the time and resources to educate the students at LSHTM and communicate with them about the research you are doing?

    PS. Thanks for all you hard work and efforts - we really appreciate what you are doing.
     
    Jan, eva, Barry and 16 others like this.
  13. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    We are very keen on having extremely rigorous protocols for sample collection and storage - currently, that means that we have to collect them in a certain way, and have them delivered to the biobank within 6 hours to be processed and aliquoted. We haven't been limited thus far by difficulties in recruiting participants, and our stringent rules only help enhance the quality and impact of studies done using our resources. So no plans to change right now - but as ever, things may be different down the line.

    -- Caroline/Jack
     
    Jan, Barry, Milo and 16 others like this.
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I second that! It's been great. Thanks for talking with us and for your dedication and research, biobank team! :balloons:
     
    Binkie4, ahimsa, Jan and 18 others like this.
  15. The UK ME/CFS Biobank

    The UK ME/CFS Biobank Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes! We have in the past focused on ME Awareness Day, in which we host an event to which all students and staff are invited, but we are also expanding our awareness and engagement right now: we are trying to be more active online, on social media and via our mailing list (and other mailing lists internal to LSHTM) and are holding events such as our screening of Unrest, at which a number of student from LSHTM and beyond were present.
     
    Binkie4, ahimsa, Jan and 26 others like this.
  16. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    And that is time everyone, please, no more questions.
     
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  17. MMHI

    MMHI New Member

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    why is the cost so high? Does that any include testing the samples as well?
     
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  18. Adrian

    Adrian Administrator

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  19. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

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    A huge thank you to @The UK ME/CFS Biobank team for taking time out of their busy schedules and answering our questions, I certainly found it very informative, I hope everyone else did.
     
    Binkie4, ahimsa, Jan and 17 others like this.
  20. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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