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BACKGROUND: This article presents the methodology for tissue sample collection in Trans-CHHiP, the main translational study within the CHHiP (Conventional or Hypofractionated High dose intensity modulated radiotherapy in Prostate cancer, ISRCTN 97182923) trial. The CHHiP trial randomised 3216 men with localised prostate cancer to 3 different radiotherapy fractionation schedules. Trans-CHHiP aims to identify biomarkers of fraction sensitivity. METHODS: We outline the process of tissue collection, including central review by a study-specific specialist uropathologist and comparison of the centrally-assigned Gleason grade group with that assigned by the recruiting-centre pathologist. RESULTS: 2047 patients provided tissue from 107 pathology departments between August 2012 and April 2014. A highly motivated Clinical Trials Unit chasing samples and a central Trans-CHHiP group that regularly reviewed progress were important for successful sample collection. Agreement in Gleason grade group assigned by the recruiting centre pathologist and the central study-specific uropathologist occurred in 886 out of 1854 (47.8%) cases. Key lessons learned were the need for prospective consent for tissue collection when recruiting patients to the main trial, and the importance of Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) integration into the initial trial site agreement. CONCLUSIONS: This methodology enabled collection of 2047 patient samples from a large randomised radiotherapy trial. Central pathological review is important to minimise subjectivity in Gleason grade grouping and the impact of grade shift.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Transl Radiat Oncol

Publication Date





1 - 6


BATS, Blood and Tissue Samples database, BIDD, Biomarker and Imaging Discovery and Development Committee, CHHiP, Conventional or Hypofractionated High dose intensity modulated radiotherapy in Prostate cancer, CRN, Clinical Research Network, CTU, Clinical Trials Unit, H&E, Haematoxylin and Eosin, ICR-CTSU, Institute of Cancer Research Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit, ISUP, International Society of Urological Pathology, MTA, Material Transfer Agreement, NCCN, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, NCRI, National Cancer Research Institute, NHS, National Health Service, Prostate cancer biopsies, Sample collection methodology, TMA, Tissue microarray, TMG, Trial Management Group, TSC, Trial Steering Committee, TURP, Trans-urethral resection of prostate, Translational study