Table 3.

Responses of biospecimen researchers to questions on the SEER RTR

A. Background of biospecimen research questionnaire respondents
Q1. If you conduct scientific research, please indicate your primary affiliation (174 responses)
Academic117 (67%)
Government24 (14%)
Other33 (19%)
Q2. Have you worked with biospecimens from the SEER RTR in the past? (159 responses)
Yes30 (19%)
No129 (81%)
Q3. If you are aware of the SEER RTR but have not worked with this resource in the past, please indicate why and continue with Question 8 (90 responses)
Plan to apply once preliminary results are obtained or obtain funding36 (40%)
Did not meet research needs28 (31%)
Unaware of RTR resource15 (17%)
Other11 (12%)
B. Responses of SEER biospecimen researchers on SEER RTR research use and potential (n = 30)
Q4. If you answered YES to question 2, what were your research objectives in using the SEER RTR resource? (26 responses)
Biomarker identification/validation8 (31%)
Whole-genome analysis7 (27%)
Multivariate molecular profiling6 (23%)
Other5 (19%)
Q5. Did the SEER RTR resource enable you to achieve your research goals? (22 responses)
Yes19 (86%)
No3 (14%)
Q6a. Please comment on any advantages (strengths) of using the SEER RTR as a research resource (24 responses)
Population coverage10 (42%)
Number of biospecimens7 (29%)
SEER annotation (demographic, clinical, and survival data)4 (17%)
Cost/speed of access (convenience)3 (13%)
Q6b. Please comment on any disadvantages (weaknesses) of using the SEER RTR as a research resource (22 responses)
Insufficient sample size8 (36%)
Incomplete QC documentation8 (36%)
Incomplete clinical annotation6 (27%)
Q7. Please provide suggestions for improving your ability to access and utilize the SEER RTR biospecimens and associated data (24 responses)
Increase number of biospecimens6 (25%)
Improve efficiency of access to biospecimens and associated data6 (25%)
Streamline application process (IRB/MTA)5 (21%)
Increase RTR funding/staff4 (17%)
More targeted annotation of clinical data3 (13%)
C. Future development of SEER biospecimen resources
Q8. Please elaborate on specific research objectives that you would like to see addressed in the future using the SEER RTR (43 responses)
Prognostic studies14 (33%)
Other12 (28%)
Biomarker identification/validation9 (21%)
Molecular profiling for tumor classification8 (19%)
Q9. Please comment on methods or techniques that could be used to assess the tissue quality of SEER RTR biospecimens to enhance their utility for advanced research applications, such as next-generation sequencing (25 responses)
Sample QCa16 (64%)
Pathology review3 (12%)
Upgraded annotation3 (12%)
Age-matched control2 (8%)
Adjacent tissue samples1 (4%)
Q10. Please indicate the importance of the following standard SEER data items for research using SEER RTR biospecimens (70 responses, selection of multiple categories allowed)
Tissue collection, processing, and storage41 (58%)
Type of treatment39 (56%)
Age of specimens37 (52%)
Risk factors30 (42%)
Type of health insurance(4%)
  • aImmunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and PCR.