Cancer research | ProtecT Study, United Kingdom | ULT Freezers

Collection from serum, plasma and DNA from 100.000 men in SANYO VIP Series Freezers

The aim of the ProtecT Study is to evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of treatments for men with localised prostate cancer in a pragmatic randomised controlled trial.

Blood specimen collection commenced in July 1999 and to date most of the men recruited to the Protect Study have also agreed to donate blood samples for research. These samples are kept locally for a 3 – 4 month period and then sent for long term storage in Sheffield (soon to relocate to Oxford) and Cambridge. The samples are robotically aliquotted and split into duplicate sets with samples held on two sites for additional security.

Mr. Peter Holding, coordinating lead research nurse based at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield commented; “The collection currently consists of serum, plasma and DNA samples from approximately 100,000 men. These are stored in -86°C mechanical freezers which are almost exclusively Panasonic VIP series ULT Freezers. I have assisted with the purchase and general maintenance of these freezers over the past 10 years. Our current Panasonic inventory is as follows:

  • 9 freezers (1 in each of the UK centres).
  • 24 freezers in Sheffield.
  • 13 freezers in Cambridge.

We also purchase our racking, alarm system and CO2 backup from Panasonic. Servicing and maintenance by Panasonic has always been dealt with promptly and the freezers are easily maintained (simple filter cleaning and door de-icing). Deliveries and installations have also been straight-forward despite working in a tower block and having to use service lifts.

We have plans to further develop our sample storage with new facilities currently being developed at the University of Oxford. We will continue using Panasonic hardware (and indeed ‘software’ - the remote freezer monitoring system is on our current list of ‘wants’!). I certainly have no reservations when recommending them to others and indeed have done so many times.”

Testimonial

Panasonic Biomedical Sales Europe B.V in the UK has been working with the ProtecT Study for the past ten years supplying -86°C Freezers for sample storage.