breen lab @ ncsu

Matthew Breen :: PhD :: C.Biol :: FRSB ::

Professor of Genomics and the Oscar J. Fletcher Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology Genetics



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North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation

(mention the "Cancer Genomics Fund")

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Information for veterianarians to whom we have sent collection kits


Dear Doctor,

Thank you for your willingness to help us collect high quality canine tumor and blood samples to help in our research.

What have we sent to you?

We have sent you an insulated package that contains a number of 50ml screw top tubes, each containing 20ml of sterile tissue transport medium, a cold pack and printed copies of the instructions for submission. We have also included several EDTA blood collection tubes. You may also have been sent preprinted FedEx return labels.

What do I do when I receive my package of collection tubes?

Upon receipt of the package we have sent to you, the 50ml screw cap tubes and the cold pack need to be removed and stored in your freezer (-20degC). The collection tubes will be stable for a year when frozen. The EDTA vacuutainers may be stored at room temperature. Please do not discard the shipping box as you may use this to return your first samples (see below).

How do I use the collection tubes?

On the day that you will remove a tumor sample from a patient, please thaw ONE (or two if the tumor is large) of these 50ml tubes and use it to return the tissue sample to the lab.

1. Fresh tumor sample: Please make sure that the tumor biopsy is removed with a sterile pack and placed in the thawed collection tube as quickly as possible. . Label each tube with the name of the dog and origin of tissue. Also add your own reference number. Once the tissue is in the 50ml tube make sure that the screw cap is on tight and place this inside a snap seal bag. Wrap the tube in bubble wrap or thick paper to protect it during transit.

2. Blood sample: Please send the EDTA blood sample taken from the patient in this package as well as the tumor sample. Wrap the blood tube in bubble wrap or thick paper to protect it during transit.

3. Fixed tumor sample: place a piece of the tumor also in 10% formalin and make sure that the lid is screwed on tightly. Label each vessel with the name of the dog, date and origin of tissue. Place the container in a snap seal bag.

Package the samples tightly inside a suitable shipping container and do not allow any of the sample containers to make contact the cool pack during transit.

How do I ship the tumor samples back to the lab?

All tumor samples should be sent back to the lab by overnight delivery. To insure that the samples arrive in good condition it is vital that you send them in an appropriate sturdy and well-insulated shipping container and that you include a frozen cool pack. Your first shipment of tumor may be returned in the shipping box that we have sent to you. Subsequent samples will require you to identify a suitable shipping container similar to the one we have sent to you.

How do I ship blood samples back to the lab?

If you sending a blood sample at the same time as a the tumor sample, all samples may be sent in the same overnight package.

If you are sending blood samples only (i.e. no tissues in the package) these samples may be sent by first class mail in an appropriate shipping container. When sending blood samples alone, these need not be sent cold.

Who pays for the shipment of the samples back to the BREEN-LAB?

If the sample you are sending is a canine lymphoma tumor biopsy, you may use the pre-printed FedEx label to send back the package.

If the sample you are sending is NOT a lymphoma biopsy, please do NOT use the pre-printed FedEx slips.

The cost of all non-lymphoma sample packages needs to be met by the owner of the patient.

The cost of sending blood samples only needs to be met by the owners.

With whom do I speak if I have any questions?

Please e-mail or call 919-513-1466 if you have any questions or concerns.

Please also notify us at to advise us that you will be taking samples. This allows us to prepare for their arrival.

Thank you for your time and help.