Early diagnosis and effective treatment of mesothelioma is desperately needed. The disease affects 4,000 people in the United States each year and the outcome for those diagnosed is grim. The goal of the NMVB is to support research that will benefit these patients, and prevent future development of the disease. The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB) is led by the collaborative effort of the Departments of Biomedical Informatics, Epidemiology, and Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, and is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NMVB resource is designed to provide mesothelioma tissue samples with high-quality and well-characterized multimodal annotated data to researchers. The NMVB team strongly believes that progress in translational and clinical research — in cancer as well as other disease areas — depends on the ability of researchers to access high-quality tissue that is associated with meaningful annotation.
The NMVB online data access application provides convenient query access to the data repository. The application presents three levels of access to end users, first, NMVB statistical data for public view, second, approved investigator database query that allows seeing individual patient de-identified clinical data, and third, data manager access to query and edit the stored data. Patient privacy is of utmost importance at all levels of user’s access.
The Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh is one of the innovators in the field of informatics. It has shown extensive expertise in developing efficient, robust, and intuitive tools for tissue banking to support the research community including the ITCR, TIES, and the Early Diagnosis Research Network for colorectal and pancreatic malignancies.