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The Sample Handling Lab (SHL) is based on the Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit (EPCTU), the laboratory is staffed by a team of 6 technicians.  The lab is responsible for the pre-analytical (first stage) processing of samples collected from patients participating in oncology and haematology studies.  Due to the location of the laboratory and the proximity to the patients, it is possible to process samples within 15-30 minutes of collection.

The SHL is a separate laboratory to the hospital’s ‘local’ lab where patient’s samples are analysed for safety/diagnostics, in comparison the role of the SHL is purely research.  As the lab handles samples for research, patient samples are anonymised and labelled with the patient’s unique trial identification number.

The SHL predominately separates blood into its different components (plasma, white cells and red cells) before sending the required part to the analysis lab which has been chosen by the study.  The lab handles a variety of sample types such as blood, urine, nail clippings and tissue samples.  The SHL sends samples globally on a daily basis via courier.