the Bank Statement
The UK Multiple
Sclerosis Tissue Bank
(The Bank Statement is also available as a PDF document.)
Welcome to the second issue of the Tissue
Bank’s newsletter. Some of you will have already registered as donors, while
others will be in the process of deciding whether it is right for you; or may
be, you are the relative or friend of someone who has donated tissue. We hope
that our Bank Statement will keep all of you up to date with what is going on
here at the Tissue Bank.
issue find out about...
- how the work of the Tissue Bank was reviewed
- what the Bank has achieved over the last six
- about 6 research projects being supported by
the Tissue Bank
- who makes-up the Tissue Bank Team
- what things we would like you to tell us
How it all started
In 1998, the Multiple
Sclerosis Society awarded a 5-year grant to Imperial College London at
Charing Cross Hospital to enable the setting-up of a national Tissue Bank for
research on multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this centralised facility is:
- to co-ordinate the collection of tissue
donated for MS research from people that had MS and from people that did
not have MS, and
- to distribute samples of the tissue to
scientists conducting research into the causes and treatment of MS.
Reviewing our work
The progress that the
Tissue Bank had made over the first 5-year grant period was assessed by an
Independent Review Panel appointed by the MS Society. The Panel was chaired
by Professor James Underwood (President, Royal College of
Pathologists; Chairman, Working Committee on Organ Retention) and comprised
of experts in neuropathology, neurology and MS research. The panel also
included a relative (Mrs Sharon Rowsell) of a person who had donated
tissue, a person living with MS (Ms Bryony Jones) and representatives
from the MS Society.
“…one of the best in the UK and Europe.”
The diligence with which
the members of the Panel examined the work of the Tissue Bank has meant that
we have been able to draw on their report to further improve our work. We are
delighted that upon the recommendation of the Review Panel, the Board of
Trustees of the MS Society decided to fund the Tissue Bank for another five
years (March 2003 to February 2008). The overall conclusion reached by the
Independent Review Panel was that the UK Multiple Sclerosis Tissue Bank was “one
of the best in the UK and Europe”.
Progress in the work of the Tissue Bank
We have continued to raise
the profile of the Tissue Bank as a facility for those who want to donate
tissue to research after their death. Over the last five years, Professor
Richard Reynolds (Scientific Director) and Dr Abhi Vora (Manager) have given over
100 talks on the importance of the availability of tissue for research.
As well as these face-to-face interactions, we have written articles for
magazines including MS Matters and TeaMSpirit. We have also promoted our work
amongst neurologists and nurses, so that they are also able to pass-on
information about tissue donation. We have used these promotional exercises
to get in touch with as many people as possible who want to find out about
donating tissue to research on the cause and treatment of MS.
Accumulation of enquiries and registered donors
The graph below shows how
the number of people requesting an Information Pack (blue line) and
registering as donors (red line) has continued to rise over the last 6years.
At the end of six years, we had supplied over 3,452 Information Packs
and 2,186 individuals had registered on the Tissue Bank’s Donor
Scheme. We will continue raising our profile because we need even more
people to register.
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