Research Article| Volume 45, ISSUE 7, P1168-1174, May 2009

Obtaining ‘fresh’ consent for genetic research with biological samples archived 10 years ago

Published:February 17, 2009DOI:



      To obtain consent from breast cancer survivors to use residual tissue for a study on carriership of germ line mutations in the BRCA 1 and 2 genes. To investigate which consent regimen patients prefer for research with archived tissue.


      One hundred and thirty-two patients surgically treated for breast cancer between 1995 and 1997 in the Netherlands Cancer Institute were mailed a consent form and a questionnaire.


      A consent form was obtained from 90%; 3% withheld consent for the use of archived tissue. A completed questionnaire was returned by 84%. ‘One-time general consent’ was considered to be the best procedure for consenting to research with stored tissue by 56%, 23% favoured the current ‘opt-out’ procedure; 21% did not know or had no preference.


      Obtaining fresh consent for genetic research with stored tissue is possible at the cost of time and effort. Most patients give consent for research with residual tissue.


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