Tissue Micro-Arrays


Canadian Ovarian Experimental Unified Resource


To submit your completed application, or for more information, please contact Biobanque RRCancer.

“Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the western world. In one of every four women diagnosed, the cancer is resistant to standard first-line chemotherapy. In 2009, through a TFRI Translational Research project, leading ovarian cancer researchers and clinicians from across Canada joined forces to develop a biomarker-driven research program.

An essential part of the program is to link together several collections of cancerous tissues and biobanks through a central platform.  This platform is the Canadian Ovarian Experimental Unified Resource (COEUR) and will serve as a comprehensive biological and data resource for the entire biomarker program and the wider research community.

COEUR has been created to promote access, ensure quality, and provide standardization of biological material and data resources for biomarker research in ovarian cancer.

The central research platform is based on a retrospective collection of human epithelial ovarian cancer biological material.

Tissue samples include: high grade serous carcinoma; endometrioid carcinoma; clear cell carcinoma; mucinous carcinoma. The research platform also includes collections of other biological material, such as frozen tissues, blood DNA, serum, plasma, ascites fluids, FFPE samples and TMA, with associated clinical data.”

Access the COEUR repository

“To access the repository, researchers should complete an application form, including a study description. Study projects must meet management and study committee scientific criteria and applicants will need to provide a REB approval. COEUR is set up on the principle that biospecimens will be openly shared, so applicants must be willing to deposit results and data in the COEUR repository at the end of the study.”



Canadian Prostate Cancer Biomarker Network


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, with approximately 24,600 new cases in 2022, and is the third leading cause of cancer death among men in Canada. The introduction in the 1990s of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a screening tool greatly facilitated the diagnosis of prostate cancer and notably favored the detection of tumors at an early stage and, in some cases, low grade (Gleason 6).

In patients with low-grade tumors, it is currently difficult to differentiate low-risk disease from high-risk disease, contributing to the overtreatment of men for whom interventional therapy is neither necessary nor appropriate to ensure a lifespan not compromised by cancer or its therapeutic consequences. There is therefore an urgent need to develop new prognostic tools that will make it possible to distinguish low-grade tumors requiring definitive treatment from those that best lend themselves to observation.

When patients are on active surveillance (AS), practitioners routinely measure PSA levels and monitor for signs of disease progression through regular biopsies and rectal examinations. This allows curative treatment to be delayed in low-risk patients until there are signs of disease progression, at which time active treatment is instituted. However, it is necessary to identify biomarkers that will be added to the clinical and pathological parameters currently used to identify patients at high risk of cancer recurrence and/or progression and who may benefit from adjuvant or neo-adjuvant therapies. This would allow referral of high-risk patients to multimodal therapy and/or new therapies to limit their disease. Accurate and individualized risk stratification can have profound individual (lower recidivism rates, better quality of life) and societal (lower costs, better use of healthcare resources) implications.

To achieve its goals, the Canadian Prostate Cancer Biomarker Network (CCBPN), a group of clinicians and scientists from four different provinces, collected a large series of tissue microarrays (TMAs) from 1,512 radical prostatectomy specimens associated with exhaustive clinicopathologic data. This important resource is currently being shared by Canadian researchers to validate biomarkers related to the prognosis of prostate cancer patients. To access the CPCBN TMA series and extracted material or profiling data, researchers must complete an application form to have their proposal evaluated by the study committee.

Ultimately, the CPCBN aims to reduce the impact of prostate cancer by incorporating key molecular information about expression, prognosis, response and outcome into algorithms defining optimized and individualized therapy.


Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Tissue Microarray


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Canadian women. While the mortality associated with it has steadily decreased over the past decades, breast cancer still remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Individual patient clinical outcomes and treatment options vary widely depending on the specific characteristics of the tumor.

Harmonized and comprehensive clinical data is stored in a central database (ATiM, Advanced Tissue Management, CTRNet). The fields include data regarding initial diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.

The QBCF-TMAC will provide the breast cancer community with a unique resource of breast cancer tissue. By combining clinical data and biomarkers, it will lead to the definition of a nomogram to help patient stratification and influence treatment management decisions. If you would like to access the QBCF-TMAC resource, please download and complete the request form and email it back to qbcftmac@gmail.com along with any additional required documents.