Biobank: Introduction, Need and Consideration
Ferry Sandra, Trisakti University and Prodia Group
Biobanks are defined as collections of samples of human bodily substances (e.g. cells, tissue, blood, or DNA as the physical medium of genetic information) that are or can be associated with personal data and information on their donors. Biobanks are an important resource for identifying the causes and mechanisms of a large number of diseases, including in particular ones that are widespread among the population. Understanding of the human genome is increasingly making it possible to determine the role not only of external factors such as environmental agencies or lifestyle, but also of hereditary factors (genes) in the causation of or disposition to disease (genetic epidemiology).
In Indonesia, biobanks are relatively small collections devoted to specific diseases, established, for example, in university departments and comprising a few hundred to a few thousand donor samples. Large-scale population-related biobank does not exist in Indonesia. Besides university departments, clinical laboratories keep patients' left over samples only for few months. Although biobank is really necessary in Indonesia, however, consideration of having biobank needs to be well prepared. There are several concerns in biobank, for instance donor protection, pressurized into assuming unreasonable risks and protection from genetic discrimination and stigmatization. Some even reported that biobank governance comprises several factors including scientific-technological, industrial-economic, medical-health care, legal-ethical and socio-political. In this presentation, examples of biobank management model were shown.