The CTB (Chernobyl Tissue Bank) is a unique international cooperation that seeks to establish a collection of biological samples from tumors and normal tissues from patients with a known exposure to radioiodine in childhood.
The project, which started in October 1998, has been historically supported by a number of sponsors including the European Commission, the WHO, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the USA and the Sasakawa Health Foundation of Japan (SHF).
The project is currently funded and coordinated by the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute (DCEG, NCI) in collaboration with the Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism in Kiev, Ukraine. It supports scientists and clinicians to manage a tissue bank for patients who have developed thyroid tumors following exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl accident. The project has the full support of the Government of the Ukraine. Belarus and Russia were also initially included in the project but those collaborations are currently suspended for political reasons.
The project has the full support of the Governments of the Ukraine.
The increased risks of thyroid tumors that have occurred in areas exposed to high levels of fallout from the Chernobyl accident raises important issues related to public health, response to exposure to radionuclides, and potential contributions to medical research. The over-riding priority must go to matters such as diagnosis, treatment of those affected, and prevention.
However, providing that patient needs are not compromised, it is important to ensure that information of value to the health of future generations is not lost. Although the post Chernobyl thyroid tumors are associated with a particular etiology, they may also provide clues to the pathogenesis and molecular biology of thyroid carcinoma in general.