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Research Using Samples form Patients

About using samples* from our patients.

Research Hospital, IMSUT, aims at translating cutting-edge research results into clinical practice and exploiting findings from daily medical practice to promote the progress of medical science.

To achieve these goals, we may ask our patients to give consent for future research use of samples that are obtained for laboratory and pathological examinations in the course of clinical care. With the consent of patients and approval of the IMSUT Research Ethics Committee, the remaining samples will be used in various research conducted at our institute. 

NOTE: Patients will not be informed of each use.

Conforming to government guidelines, we have also implemented procedures for the research use of patient samples without consent. Although we provide patients with adequate explanations and obtain permission beforehand in principle, we occasionally miss opportunities to do so prior to sample storage. Some samples stored without informed consent are potentially valuable for certain research purposes. Due to the lack of hospital visits, change of address and other reasons, however, it may be difficult to reach patients afterwards and know their will regarding the research use of stored samples. In such cases, the responsible Committee comprehensively discusses the effects of using stored samples on patients and their families, measures to seek consent and their feasibility and means to publicize planned research projects, as well as scientific significance and ethical validity of the research. Then, the Committee carefully judges whether the use of samples is appropriate. With the approval of the Committee, researchers are allowed to use the patient samples that are stored before the consent process.

*“Samples” are parts of the human bodies including blood, tissues, cells, body fluid, excretions and their extracted DNA, as well as medical records of subjects including those of the deceased.

Even when your samples are to be used or currently used in an ongoing research project, we can discard the samples if you would like us to do so.

Granting your consent is voluntary, and you may withdraw it at any time. We try to comply with your request and dispose any samples or records. Refusal to participate will not affect care to which you are otherwise entitled.

Sometimes, however, we cannot meet your requests. For example, when samples have been unlinked, or anonymized, and lack identifiers or codes that can link a particular sample to a particular person, it may be impossible to identify specific samples and dispose them. If analyses have been completed and/or the results have been published already, then it may be difficult to exclusively delete particular patient data.

If you are willing to withdraw your consent for further use of samples in research at IMSUT, please contact the Office of Research Ethics.

If you are interested in the administration of the Research Ethics Committee or detailed rules for handling of human samples at IMSUT, please refer to the internal regulations and procedures.