CUSL Biobank- Cliniques universitaires Sant-Luc

The CUSL biobank repository stores and manage tumoral, non-tumoral and normal (tumour associated or not) human specimens from a large variety of organs. Specimens are made available to researchers by direct request to or via the BVT catalog.

Key facts

Name of the connected EIT Health partner:
Number of individuals:
Biobank confirmed willingness to provide samples/data for EIT Health studies: Yes
Contact person(s) and contact data
(e-mail address, tel. no) for access purposes:
Valentina ALBARANI,, +32-2-76 46859; Etienne MARBAIX, +32-2-76 46755
Number of samples: Over 7,000 tumour specimens have been recorded in the BVTc from 2007 to 2019
Sample type: Tissue;Whole blood;Serum;Urine;DNA;RNA;

General information

Type of biobank: Biobanking infrastructure (centralized infrastructure within an institute hosting multiple collections). The CUSL biobank has a very large collection of residual human material.
The most represented organs are the following: lung, colon, female genital organs, endocrine glands, breast, head & neck
If longitudinal the frequency:
Link to central portal to seek samples and data:
Broad consent: Yes
Option to recall donors: No
Option to recall family members: No

Biobank access procedure:

Major terms for access: We collaborate with several companies upon study ethical approval, established investigational contracts and MTA. Our specimens are selected by specialized pathologists. We have SOPs in place for sample storage and other operations
Ethical and legal compliance: Studies must be approved by an Ethical Committee and human residual material can be transfer upon MTA. The biobank activities have been accredited by the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicinal Products (FAMHP): accreditation n. BB190044
Speed and reliability of delivery: Speed for specimens delivery depends on the request complexity (e.g. slides preparation, DNA/RNA extraction). Requests are treated according to date (first arrived, first served) unless they are justified by special needs (e.g. publications)
Pricing: General prices are applicable

Quality management system:

Storage: Samples are stored according to studies needs: embedded in paraffin (FFPE) or embedded or not in OCT and snap-frozen in isopentan/liquid nitrogen. OCT samples are preserved at -80°C for short and long term storage
Compliance with international standards: The CUSL biobank has a quality management system
Current ISO certificates: The CUSL biobank is not currently ISO accredited


Clinical data linked to samples: Medical files
Data standards:
Data security rules: Biobank files are password protected and access is restricted

Biobank related service:

Research support, what type of expertise?: Expertise: our pathologists can offer review of special cases
Core facility services; what type? Link?:
Queries from national health registers:
Links to the model contract and MTA: Institutional MTAs are available upon request


IP rules, what is negotiable?: IP rules are described in the MTA and can be adapted to parties needs
Requirements to study results (access etc.): Belgian biobanks fall into the Royal Decree of January 9, 2018 implemented after the law of December 19, 2008 regarding the procurement and use of human substances destined for human medical applications or for scientific research purposes.
Participant’s right to the information:
Number of access contracts with industry: 11-25

COVID-19 samples:

Access to biological samples from patients with COVID-19?

  • Serum
  • Full blood (for RNA extraction)
  • EDTA-Full blood (for DNA extraction)
  • EDTA-Plasma
  • Citrate-Plasma
  • PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells)
  • Nasopharyngeal aspirate
  • Tracheal aspirate
Contact person(s) and contact data (e-mail address, tel. no) for access purposes