What is the ACSR?
The ACSR is a repository that provides biospecimens to funded IRB-approved researchers in the area of HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS malignancies. To accomplish this, the ACSR supports an inventory of more than 300,000 human HIV-positive biospecimens and appropriate controls. The ACSR serves as the only comprehensive repository of specimens and clinical data reflecting both the pre-HAART and post-HAART era of the U.S. HIV epidemic and selected sites in the global pandemic.
How much do biospecimens cost?
The ACSR identifies, collects, preserves, enhances and disburses biospecimens at no cost to investigators engaged in HIV/AIDS malignancy studies or other HIV/AIDS-related investigations.
What associated data comes with the biospecimens?

The ACSR collects clinical information from each patient when available, but minimally requires gender, age, HIV status and specimen diagnosis for biospecimens to be included in the inventory. Additionally, the ACSR records other available pertinent data relevant to current HIV/AIDS research goals, such as CD4 counts and treatment. For more specific information about available data, please contact the ACSR via email at CODCC@acsr.ucsf.edu.

How many biospecimen samples can I request?
Researchers may apply to receive any number of biospecimens. The determination of how many biospecimens will be disbursed can vary with each request and will be dependent upon the availability of biospecimens, as well as the relevance of the number of requested biospecimens to the proposed study.
Do you have a catalog or a list of biospecimens that are available?

The ACSR database contains more than 300,000 individual biospecimens with associated clinical information Please follow the following like to see the most current summary of the types of cancers and specimens in the general collection. Investigators interested in requesting biospecimens are highly encouraged to address their inquiries directly to ACSR staff for complete and up to date information regarding biospecimen availability.  For assistance, contact us.

Where do you get your biospecimens?

Each ACSR Regional Biospecimen Repository collects biospecimens under Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines and with local IRB approvals. Biospecimens are collected from consented HIV+ donors; NIH-funded HIV clinical treatment trials and anonymous remnant samples from HIV+ surgical and autopsy biospecimens (coded and anonymous samples from pathology archived, fixed and embedded materials); as well as other biorepositories as approved by biospecimen use and material transfer agreements.

Does the ACSR distribute tissue microarrays?

Yes. The ACSR provides special biospecimen collections through tissue microarrays (TMA) and DNA libraries.

Does the ACSR provide tissue to Commercial Entities?

Yes.  The ACSR does provide biospecimens to commercial entities, with the understanding that they are provided for research purposes only. Biospecimens and their products are not sold and may not be used for commercial purposes. Additionally biospecimens must NOT be distributed to third parties for purposes of sale or producing for sale.

Does the ACSR serve investigators outside the United States?

Yes. The ACSR encourages scientific exploration and discovery in HIV/AIDS malignancies.

How to request specimens?

The ACSR solicits Letters of Intent (LOI) from investigators throughout the year with a minimum of paperwork. The application process is simple and straightforward. For more information, read How to Apply.

How do I know if I should fill out a standard form or a short form Letter of Intent (LOI)?

The Short Form LOI is designed for pilot studies where specimens are needed for test development, quality control, and/or preliminary research. The Short Form LOI allows a researcher to request up to 20 biospecimens on a one-time basis for a particular study. The Standard Form LOI is used for all other requests. For further clarification regarding the application process, please contact the ACSR via email at codcc@acsr.ucsf.edu

Where do I submit my LOI?

Electronic submission of completed Letters of Intent (LOIs) is preferred. For assistance, contact us.

How long does it take the ACSR to serve a request?

Notification of approval or denial of biospecimens will be emailed 1-2 weeks from Short Form submissions and approximately 4-6 weeks from Standard LOI submissions.