Available Biospecimens


The ACSR has formalin-fixed paraffin embedded biospecimens, fresh frozen biospecimens, malignant cell suspensions, fine needle aspirates, and cell lines from patients with HIV-related malignancies. The ACSR also has stored frozen serum, plasma, urine, bone marrow, cervical and anal specimens, saliva, semen, and multi-site autopsy speicmens from patients with HIV-related malignancies including those who have participated in clinical trials. The ACSR has developed and maintains an associated databank that includes prognostic, staging, outcome and treatment data on patients from whom tissues were obtained.


The ACSR database contains more than 300,000 individual biospecimens with associated clinical information. Biospecimens are entered into the ACSR database by processing type, disease category, and by HIV status.


Investigators requesting biospecimens are highly encouraged to address their inquiries directly to the Central Operations and Data Coordinating Center (CODCC) for complete and up to date information regarding biospecimen availability.


Specimens by diagnosis:

  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Primary effusion lymphomas
  • Other malignancies in HIV patients
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Condyloma, dysplasia and CIS
  • Opportunistic infections
  • HIV+ and HIV- controls

Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Specimen type:

  • Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue
  • Fresh frozen tissue
  • Fine needle aspirates
  • Fluid biospecimens (plasma, semen, saliva, CSF, effusions)
  • Blood and bone marrow cells

Large Cell Lymphoma

Special collections

Each of the ACSR Regional Biospecimen Repositories specializes in the collection of various biospecimens, including:

  • Longitudinal sera and some corresponding tissue from AIDS-KS patients with numerous attendant clinical values
  • Tissue microarray (TMA) blocks, in which sample cores were taken from multiple archival blocks and arrayed in a single paraffin block
  • Multi-site autopsy, frozen tissue in Optimal Cutting Temperture (OCT) medium and relevant control tissue
  • Bone marrow aspirates paired with fresh biopsies
  • Tumor cell suspensions with immunophenotype data
  • Malignant lymphoid effusions associated with HHV-8 (KSHV) from HIV positive and negative patients
  • A wide variety of biospecimens with international pedigrees
  • Biospecimens linked to epidemiology studies
  • Anogenital malignancy study associated biospecimens
  • Gynecological biospecimens (including cervix, endometrium, vulva, perineal)
  • HIV biospecimens from Thailand

Tissue Microarrays (TMA)

  • Hundreds of tissue samples can be assembled onto a TMA
  • Opportunity for examination of a large number of tumors
  • HIV-infected tissues and related malignancies along with tissue from HIV-negative controls
Images of select number of ACSR Tissue Microarrays are viewable via the ACSR Digital Library. The ACSR Image Access Agreement must be completed to access the Library’s Dashboard. Click here to complete the agreement.

Custom Specimen Sets

Custom biospecimen sets can be obtained upon request. The ACSR continues to develop special sets of biospecimens, including serial biospecimens from patients involved in clinical trials, matched tumor and control specimens, multi-site autopsy specimens, epidemiology study specimens, male/female derived specimens from  AIDS risk categories, and internationally obtained biospecimens.


Need assistance with your search?

Contact the ACSR Central Operations and Data Coordinating Center’s (CODCC) at codcc@acsr.ucsf.edu for assistance with your search for biospecimens. The ACSR will not only search the ACSR database for biospecimen requests but can help to obtain biospecimens from numerous other sources to supplement your research needs.