Core facilities

Tissue Bank Bern TBB

Tissue Bank Bern TBB

Tissue Bank Bern (TBB) is a human diseased-related, solid tissue bio-repository. The aim of the Tissue Bank Bern (TBB) is to provide researchers with access to high quality human tissue samples and related data for research conform to the Human Research Act (HRA) 2014 and international guidelines.

Quality is one of TBB´s main targets. In this regard, we have strong focus on the standardization of the multiple biobanking processes including collection, transport, processing, storage and distribution of the sample as well as management of personnel and equipment.

TBB ensures quality monitoring and process standardization working in close cooperation with the Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP), as acknowledged by the acquisition of the SBP Vita, Norma and Optima labels.

Additionally, TBB offers support to the biomedical research activities by facilitating compliance with best practice standards and regulatory requirements relating to ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI).

For Clinics

Aside from providing the scientist with frozen and native material, TBB has increased the portfolio of customized collections, implying strong multi institutional and cross-departmental collaboration. Additionally, we have introduced slow freezing processes as an alternative cryopreservation method to preserve live cells in frozen tissue.

In order to provide tissue to TBB for freezing, cryopreservation or native use, please send native tissue to Pathology according to "Anleitung für Einsendungen an die Gewebebank". The tissue is stored and distributed according to legal requirements and international standards.

In case of special project inquiry or questions, please contact

Anleitung für Einsendungen an die Gewebebank (PDF, 160KB)

For researchers

The requirements to use samples from our tissue collection include the description of the project, the type and characteristics of the requested tissue and essential information regarding the ethical approval. The request process is simple and does not mean additional bureaucracy for the researcher. Only to send a request form (found below) to is needed. The estimated timelines and processes are displayed in the picture below.

By sample/data delivery we use a Material or Data Transfer Agreement (MTA/DTA). These agreements define the rights of the provider and the recipient with respect to the materials and any derivatives. The lay outs can be downloaded in the link below.




Request for the usage of samples and services of Tissue Bank Bern (PDF, 171KB) Material Transfer Agreement (WORD, 333KB) Data Transfer and Use Agreement (WORD, 28KB)

for patients

By signing the general consent you are contributing to improve the prediction, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Strict compliance with patients' rights is always ensured. Please find more information at


TBB markedly expanded its tissue collection reaching a total of more than 11’000 different samples stored in more than 42’000 tubes. Samples are mainly derived from the following clinical departments: The Women’s Clinic (Frauenklinik), Urology, Visceral Surgery, Thoracic surgery and Ear, Nose, Throat Clinic (ENT). The size of the boxes found on the graph corresponds to the relative number of samples in TBB from each specific clinic.


Tissue for researchers

The number of TBB projects continues to rise. In 2019 we received 51 requests for tissue and/or data. We have provided scientists with 122 frozen tissues, all with pathological content control. Additionally, 381 tissues were given in a prospective manner. These numbers are summarized in the following graph, showing requests for tissue and data.

Bridging Biobank Bern

TBB along with the Liquid Biobank (LBB) of the Insel Hospital have now a shared steering committee to oversee both biobanks, a common website and harmonized Reglement. TBB and LBB together are continuously trying to optimize common workflows for research.


TBB collaborates with the Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP) to help standardize and harmonize biobanking procedures across Switzerland


The TBB has been referenced in numerous articles this year:

1.     Zahnd S, Braga-Lagache S, Buchs N, Lugli A, Dawson H, Heller M, et al. A Digital Pathology-Based Shotgun-Proteomics Approach to Biomarker Discovery in Colorectal Cancer. J Pathol Inform. 2019;10:40. 
2.     Meyer SN, Galván JA, Zahnd S, Sokol L, Dawson H, Lugli A, et al. Co-expression of cytokeratin and vimentin in colorectal cancer highlights a subset of tumor buds and an atypical cancer-associated stroma. Hum Pathol. 2019;87:18–27. 
3.     Neppl C, Keller MD, Scherz A, Dorn P, Schmid RA, Zlobec I, et al. Comparison of the 7th and 8th Edition of the UICC/AJCC TNM Staging System in Primary Resected Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Lung-A Single Center Analysis of 354 Cases. Front Med (Lausanne). 2019;6:196. 
4.     Xu D, Liang S-Q, Yang H, Bruggmann R, Berezowska S, Yang Z, et al. CRISPR screening identifies WEE1 as a combination target for standard chemotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019 Nov 6; 
5.     Xu D, Yang H, Yang Z, Berezowska S, Gao Y, Liang S-Q, et al. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Signaling as a Therapeutic Target in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Oct 8;11(10). 
6.     Blank A, Schenker C, Dawson H, Beldi G, Zlobec I, Lugli A. Evaluation of Tumor Budding in Primary Colorectal Cancer and Corresponding Liver Metastases Based on H&E and Pancytokeratin Staining. Front Med (Lausanne). 2019;6:247. 
7.     Yang H, Liang S-Q, Xu D, Yang Z, Marti TM, Gao Y, et al. HSP90/AXL/eIF4E-regulated unfolded protein response as an acquired vulnerability in drug-resistant KRAS-mutant lung cancer. Oncogenesis. 2019 Aug 20;8(9):45. 
8.     Galván JA, Wiprächtiger J, Slotta-Huspenina J, Feith M, Ott K, Kröll D, et al. Immunohistochemical analysis of the expression of cancer-associated fibroblast markers in esophageal cancer with and without neoadjuvant therapy. Virchows Arch. 2019 Dec 11; 
9.     Laedrach C, Salhia B, Cihoric N, Zlobec I, Tapia C. Immunophenotypic profile of tumor buds in breast cancer. Pathol Res Pract. 2018 Jan;214(1):25–9. 
10.     Liang S-Q, Bührer ED, Berezowska S, Marti TM, Xu D, Froment L, et al. mTOR mediates a mechanism of resistance to chemotherapy and defines a rational combination strategy to treat KRAS-mutant lung cancer. Oncogene. 2019;38(5):622–36. 
11.     Savic S, Berezowska S, Eppenberger-Castori S, Cathomas G, Diebold J, Fleischmann A, et al. PD-L1 testing of non-small cell lung cancer using different antibodies and platforms: a Swiss cross-validation study. Virchows Arch. 2019 Jul;475(1):67–76. 
12.     Wyss J, Dislich B, Koelzer VH, Galván JA, Dawson H, Hädrich M, et al. Stromal PD-1/PD-L1 Expression Predicts Outcome in Colon Cancer Patients. Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2019;18(1):e20–38. 
13.     Pastille E, Wasmer M-H, Adamczyk A, Vu VP, Mager LF, Phuong NNT, et al. The IL-33/ST2 pathway shapes the regulatory T cell phenotype to promote intestinal cancer. Mucosal Immunol. 2019;12(4):990–1003. 
14.     Dawson H, Christe L, Eichmann M, Reinhard S, Zlobec I, Blank A, et al. Tumour Budding/T-cell infiltrates in Colorectal Cancer: Proposal of a Novel Combined Score. Histopathology. 2019 Sep 27; 
15.     Neppl C, Zlobec I, Schmid RA, Berezowska S. Validation of the International Tumor Budding Consensus Conference (ITBCC) 2016 recommendation in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung-a single-center analysis of 354 cases. Mod Pathol. 2019 Dec 3;