Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and Indiana University School of Medicine are home to the only healthy breast tissue bio-repository of its kind in the world.

The bank, Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center, is uniquely positioned to characterize the molecular and genetic basis of normal breast development and compare it to the different types of breast cancer. The tissue bank was established expressly for the acquisition of healthy tissues from volunteer donors with no clinical evidence of breast disease and/or malignancy, providing a resource to investigators around the globe.

By using samples from women without breast cancer, researchers will be able to determine the differences between healthy and cancerous tissues, which will lead to a better understanding of the disease. More than 5,000 women have donated breast tissue since the bank was established in 2007.

Anna Maria Storniolo, M.D., is the executive director of the tissue bank.

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