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Frequently asked questions

Have a question that is not covered here? Get in touch with us.

Why are you asking for samples from my child?

Your child will be having samples of bone marrow and blood taken in order to make a diagnosis of their illness or help to guide their treatment. We are asking that you will allow us to take small additional samples at the same time for research. With your permission, we will also collect any surplus from the sample used for diagnosis.

Why do you need these samples for research?

The very best research into childhood leukaemia and other bone marrow disorders is carried out on samples from patients with the illness.

Will anyone know which are my child’s samples?

Only your child’s clinical team and CellBank will know your child’s identity. Researchers will not know any identifiable information about your child. This means that we will not be able to tell you the results of the research projects that use your child’s samples.

How do we find out about research using CellBank samples?

Our Projects page has details of all the projects that have received CellBank samples and our Publications page lists the scientific publications to come from them.

How can we take part?

Your child's clinical team will talk to you about CellBank and invite you to donate samples.  We have a range of age-appropriate information leaflets here which explain everything you need to know about CellBank (your clinical team will give you copies to keep).  If you decide to take part, you (and, optionally, your child) will sign a consent form and, at this point, you will choose whether your child will have some small additional samples taken or if you just want any samples left over from testing to be sent to CellBank.

Do we have to give consent?

No. If you decide that you do not want your child’s samples to be used for research then they will not be stored by CellBank.  This won't affect your child's treatment in any way.

What if we change our mind after giving consent?

If you change your mind at any time and wish to withdraw consent you should contact CellBank who will ensure that all samples from your child in storage will be destroyed.  However, if your child's samples have already been used for research at this time, we are unable to recall samples or medical information from researchers.  CellBank will, however, arrange for any samples left over from projects is completed to be destroyed so they will not be used in any further research.

Who can use CellBank samples?

UK researchers (or overseas researchers in collaboration with UK researchers) based in universities or the NHS are eligible to apply to use CellBank samples. Samples are only released to researchers after approval by CellBank's panel of experts.


Further information can be found in the ‘Information leaflet for parents’.