The CHTN requires investigators to obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and approval (if deemed necessary) before receiving specimens for their research through one of the following methods:
- Use of the established IRB at their local organization
- Use of a local institution/organization if the investigator does not have an established IRB at his/her institution
- Use of the services of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP)
Investigators who do not have access to an IRB should contact the CHTN. All investigators should be aware of how the federal human subjects' regulations apply to the use of human specimens. For example, specifically, the OHRP has indicated that research using anonymized or de-identified specimens does not constitute human research and thus is not regulated by the Code of Federal Regulations.
CHTN investigators are also responsible for the following:
- Acknowledging the CHTN in any publications that result from the use of CHTN biospecimens. Investigators can use the following text to acknowledge the CHTN:
"Tissue samples were provided by the Cooperative Human Tissue Network, a National Cancer Institute supported resource. Other investigators may have received samples from these same tissue specimens."
- Completing the shipment feedback postcard or online survey. This allows the investigator the opportunity to provide rapid information concerning the quality of that particular shipment.
- Completing the Annual CHTN Feedback Questionnaire. Investigators receive this questionnaire annually to provide an overall evaluation of the CHTN that will be used to identify positive features, areas of improvement and most importantly, information used to show the value of CHTN during NCI reviews of the CHTN.
- Arranging prompt payment for delivered specimens. Investigators will be charged a processing fee for refusing samples collected according to their protocol.
- Treat all unfixed specimens as if they are contaminated.