Skip Navigation National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health
OverviewMain Research ProgramsTrans-NIH and other Collaborative ActivitiesOHAM International Activities

AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource

Basic research into the pathogenesis of AIDS-related malignancies depends upon the availability of properly preserved tissue and body fluid specimens. The AIDS Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR) is a biorepository for HIV-infected human biospecimens obtained from a wide spectrum of HIV-related or associated diseases, including cancer, and from appropriate HIV-negative controls. ACSR serves as a resource for investigators working in the fields of HIV/AIDS, cancer, virology, immunology, pathology, epidemiology, tumor biology assay development, and many others.

The ACSR was established by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1994 to acquire, store, and equitably distribute tumor tissues, biological fluids, and associated clinical information from patients with HIV-associated malignancies to the scientific research community-at-large. The NCI believes that prospective and longitudinal clinical samples collected across the timeline of the HIV/AIDS crisis are pivotal to the understanding of the epidemic and its impact on cancer incidence. Availability of such biospecimens also facilitates efforts to identify therapeutic targets and to gain further insight into the pathogenesis and treatment of cancer in the HIV-infected population.

KSHV viral IL-6 (vIL-6) staining of a lymph node involved with multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). Photo courtesy of Drs. Patrick Moore and Yuan Chang.

Goals and Objectives of the ACSR
The primary commitment of the ACSR is to encourage research in the field of HIV-associated malignancies, both AIDS defining and non-AIDS defining. To that end, the ACSR not only provides historical biospecimens, but in order to meet the emerging needs of the research community, it actively acquires new biospecimens from HIV-infected individuals from across the United States as well as from developing countries experiencing a high burden of the HIV epidemic and its associated malignancies. In addition to operating a large, existing biospecimen repository, the ACSR serves the research community as a resource for well-documented, disease-associated biospecimens that may not currently exist in the ACSR but may be acquired from an extensive network of outside collaborators.

The ACSR strives to be a partner with investigators working in research related to HIV-associated malignancies. It is prepared to provide relevant biospecimens to the research community at large, including researchers in academia and industry. Given its track record on assisting research and advances in the field, the ACSR is optimistic about a continued contribution to the acceleration of drug development timelines and facilitation of the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to HIV-associated malignancies.

Learn more about the use of biospecimens in AIDS-related cancer research and about how to request specimens from the ACSR for your research.