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As a patient at OHSU you have the choice to allow OHSU to use your excess tissue samples for medical research.  Tissue helps researchers developed new and better medical treatments for people.  The information below will inform you of the ways that donated tissues are collected and used at OHSU. 

What Are Tissue Samples?

Tissue samples can include materials from your body such as skin, blood and other bodily fluids.  Tissue donations can come from common medical procedures, like blood tests and biopsies.  Often parts of your samples remain after the medical tests are performed.  These samples are usually destroyed, but under the "Research Notice" this tissue can be stored for future use by researchers.  You can also give permission for additional samples to be taken for research, for example an extra vial of blood during your routine blood draw.

Why Is Tissue So Important For Research?

OHSU collects, stores and distributes tissue and associated health information for use in research projects.  If you would like to learn about actual cancer research projects that are in progress at OHSU currently you can learn more on the OHSU Research page.

Researchers need both healthy and diseased tissue, which help them:

  • Find new ways to treat or prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer's
  • Develop new drugs and other products
  • Learn more about how the human body works

How Is My Privacy Protected?

The health-related information that is gathered about you for research is confidential.  OHSU is required by law to protect the privacy of this information and takes careful steps to safeguard all records.  Some Researchers may require patient related health data due to the nature of their investigation.  This information would be handled under the same laws that govern your health care providers, and your privacy would remain protected.

What Other Ways Can I Support Research?

Give a gift to one of OHSU's cancer programs, which will also count towards the Knight Cancer Challenge.  Learn more by visiting the Knight Cancer Challenge website.

What If I Decide Not To Donate My Tissue, or Change My Mind?

OHSU understands that donating your tissue is a personal choice.  If you don't want OHSU to save and use your tissue for research, just complete the linked Research Notice, and return it to your provider at OHSU.

If you decide in the future that you would no longer like your tissue to be kept for research, you may complete the Research Notice and return it to your provider at OHSU.  We will destroy your donated tissue and any data associated with it. 

You can also limit the use of your donated tissue by contacting OHSU to ask that your personal information be removed, and allow your tissue to be used for anonymous research only.

If you had previously declined to participate, and want to change your status and agree to donate tissue at any point you can contact the OHSU Research Integrity Office at 503 494-7887 and ask them to change your status.