the Appropriate Use of AFIP’s Tissue Repository Following Its Transfer to the Joint Pathology Center, provides responses to those questions.


The committee organized its response to its statement of task in three primary chapters addressing the following topics:

  • A brief history of the biorepository that is now under the aegis of the JPC; a description of the current status of its collection, an explication of the committee’s statement of task, the methodologic considerations that informed the committee’s evaluation of the literature, and summary information on earlier reports addressing AFIP and JPC operations and on related National Academy of Sciences reports (Chapter 1).
  • The means of preserving biospecimens, methods for analyzing and assessing their research value, and how the details of the specimen’s preservation, storage, and documentation, and the uses to which they are put may affect prospects for their future use (Chapter 2).
  • The ethical, legal, and regulatory considerations underlying the committee’s responses to the questions posed by the DoD with particular attention to the federal laws and regulations, DoD rules, and AFIP and JPC regulations regarding research on biospecimens and their associated data (Chapter 3).

Those chapters contain the detailed literature reviews and analysis of their relevance to the JPC biorepository that build the foundation for the committee’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations presented in Chapter 4.

Background information on the biorepository’s collection is summarized below.


As of 2011, the JPC tissue repository comprised some 7.4 million accessions that contained specimens or data from about 3.2 million people (Baker personal communication, 2011). About 3.2 million of the accessions are in the Central Collection, which is composed primarily of biologic materials submitted for consultation by military, other government, and civilian medical providers. Most of the remaining 4.2 million accessions are from military medical facilities closed under BRAC Commission proceedings. They differ from those in the Central Collection in that they include the complete array of data and specimens collected in the course of the provision of routine medical care. About two-thirds of the so-called BRAC Col-

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