Biological samples

As we will be studying the role of genes in the development of cancer, we need to study your genetic characteristics. To do this, we will be collecting some biological samples so that we can analyse your DNA (the chemicals that make up our genes).

Saliva sample

You will be asked to provide a saliva sample.
A saliva kit will be sent to you in the post, which can then be returned to the study team in the reply-paid envelope we will provide for you. for more information, including an instructional video, click here.

Blood sample

A small number of participants will also be invited to provide a blood sample. This sample allows us to examine more than just DNA, such as the circulating hormones and vitamin and mineral levels in the blood.  
If we need to get a blood sample from you, we will ask you to visit your nearest pathology collection centre or the Research Clinic located at Cancer Council Victoria. You will not incur any costs for providing this sample.

Tissue samples

The ABC Study will be following the health of those taking part over a long period of time. Some might develop cancer, and part of their diagnosis or treatment could involve the removal of tumour tissue. As samples of these tissues are usually stored by the pathology laboratories, the ABC Study will request access tissue samples from the laboratories for use in the research.

Privacy of samples

Any saliva, blood or samples collected from you will be stored indefinitely at the Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory at The University of Melbourne. They will be stored securely and only authorised staff will have access to them. Your samples will be labelled with a unique code and only designated staff will have the key to link that code to you.

Your samples could also be provided to other researchers in the future, for use in studies that have been approved by Cancer Council Victoria’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

As this type of research takes many years to conduct, those taking part agree to be followed over many years and alert us of any change to postal or email address, so that we may stay in touch.

Note: Samples collected from 2014 through September 2018 were stored at the University of Melbourne’s Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory. In September 2018 GEL moved from the auspice of the University of Melbourne to Monash University.  All samples initially stored at the University of Melbourne were moved to Monash University. All samples will be stored indefinitely at GEL, Monash University. They will be stored securely and only Cancer Council Victoria and Monash University authorised staff will have access to them.


Find out what else is involved

Contact Us

1800 688 419



Cancer Epidemiology & Intelligence Division
Cancer Council Victoria
615 St Kilda Road
Melbourne 3004, Australia