Time, trust, and transparency: Lessons learned from collecting blood biospecimens for cancer research from the Asian American community

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4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Biospecimens from racially diverse groups are needed to advance cancer research. The Asian American Cancer Education Study was developed to increase the number and proportion of blood biospecimen donations from Asian Americans for cancer research. METHODS: The authors' targeted approach included 2 types of community engagement, in-reach (within institution to Asian American patients with cancer) and outreach (external to institution to the general Asian American community). Participants received in-language biospecimen education followed by the opportunity to donate blood biospecimens. Outreach participants donated through our community biospecimen blood drives, and in-reach participants consented to donating an extra tube of blood during their routine blood draws as a patient. Donated blood biospecimens were spun down to serum and plasma to be stored in a biorepository or were sent to the laboratory to test for cancer-related risk factors. RESULTS: Three hundred eighty-eight Asian Americans donated 1127 blood biospecimens for cancer research. Four hundred twenty tubes of plasma and serum are currently being stored at the cancer center's biorepository, 39 tubes have been used for cancer genomic research, and 668 tubes were used to characterize cancer-related risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Building upon the past decade of the National Cancer Institute-funded Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training's foundation of trust and service among Asian Americans, researchers were able to leverage relationships not only to introduce the idea of biospecimen contribution to the community but to also exceed expectations with regard to the quantity of blood biospecimens collected from Asian Americans. Cancer 2018;124:1614-21.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1614-1621
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Asian American
  • biobanking
  • biospecimen donation
  • cancer research
  • community engagement
  • community outreach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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