HSA Biobank

About the HSA Biobank

The Health Science Alliance ("HSA") Biobank is a collaborative initiative based at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. It exists to support researchers and clinicians in advancing the field of translational cancer research.

The HSA Biobank houses a collection of biological samples (human tissue) and participant health data that is accessible to cancer researchers anywhere in Australia.

Is the HSA Biobank Only About Cancer?

No. Some patients who do not have cancer will be invited to consent to the HSA Biobank. This allows researchers to study other important medical conditions and/or diseases. It can also help enhance cancer research by allowing comparison of tissue or information between those with cancer and those without. 

What Makes the HSA Biobank Unique?

Most hospital-based biobanks are set up to support specific researchers and/or research projects. They may store only limited types of tissue, and these samples may not be accessible to the wider research community.

In contrast, the HSA Biobank:

  • houses all types of tumour tissue for all types of cancer research
  • is accessible to cancer research teams anywhere in Australia
  • is a long-term resource (patient consent covers unspecified research and ongoing storage)
  • stores annotated biospecimens that are electronically linked to patient health data
  • has the capacity to provide tissue samples for multiple research projects.

View our researcher page for more information on tissue sample types.

Who Provides Tissue to the HSA Biobank?

Patients having surgery at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Royal Hospital for Women, Prince of Wales Private Hospital, St George Hospital and St George Private Hospital as well as patients of Border Medical Oncology, may be offered the opportunity to consent to the HSA Biobank. Tissue samples and health data are only collected from patients who provide written consent. 

Visit our participant page for more information on consenting to the HSA Biobank.

Who Runs the HSA Biobank?

The HSA Biobank is a joint initiative of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD). It is based on infrastructure provided by UNSW, and its work is facilitated by a consortium of clinicians, pathologists, researchers and support staff at those sites. NSW Health Pathology and the Cancer Institute NSW also support the development of the HSA Biobank.

Need Information About the HSA Biobank?

Please email your questions to the HSA Biobank Project Manager.


Biobanking Stakeholders Network report: Pre-operative consent project 2013-14

Download a copy of the Biobanking Stakeholders Network report

- A consolidated report on the Cancer Institute NSW funded ‘Pre-operative consent project 2013-14.’ This project sought to investigate processes to make patient consent to biobanking and health data linkage part of the standard of care in NSW hospitals.

The Biobanking Stakeholders Network ("BSN") report reviews the development and implementation of the BSN Consent Project across eight NSW hospitals. The primary aim of the project was to embed biobanking consent into routine peri-operative workflows, enabling better engagement of hospital staff and increased tissue and data collection from eligible patients. A series of consent pilot projects were facilitated by four translational cancer research centres (TCRCs) and rolled out across eight hospital sites.