Head and Neck Biorepository and Clinical Database

Head and Neck Biorepository and Clinical Database

The Head and Neck Biorepository and Clinical Database at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is housed at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Our mission is to provide high quality, easily accessible human head and neck tissue specimens and matching biological materials and clinical data to collaborators.

The biorepository currently stores 100,000+ biospecimens. We provide biospecimens, data, and other research services to Head and Neck Cancer researchers at Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and other academic institutions across the country.  We support both prospective and retrospective studies.

Established in 2003, our previous directors were Wendell Yarbrough (2003-2012), Kyle Mannion (2012-2017), Young Kim (2017-2022). The current Director is Alexander Gelbard, MD. Our pathologist is James Lewis, Jr, MD, and our Manager is Brandee Brown.


Learn More About Us

  • Specific Objectives:

    • Procurement, preparation, and storage of malignant, benign and normal specimens from all Head and Neck sub-sites, along with matching body fluids such as blood, saliva, buccal rinse, etc.
    • Procurement, preparation, and storage of specimens from healthy participants.
    • Maintain a clinical database pertaining to diagnosis and treatment outcome of patients with head and neck cancer

    Eligible participants: 

    • Head and Neck Cancer patients, aged 18 and older
    • Healthy Volunteers, aged 18 and older

    For details, contact Brandee Brown.

  • Process for collecting specimens


    To request specimens, please fill out this survey. If you have any questions, contact Brandee Brown.

    1. Yarbrough WG, Whigham A, Brown B, Roach M, Slebos R. Phosphoinositide kinase-3 status associated with presence or absence of human papillomavirus in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007;69(2 Suppl):S98-101. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.04.082. PMID: 17848307.
    2. Whigham A, Brandee B, Kochiashvili A, et al. Short-Term Culture and In-Vivo Modeling of Primary HNSCC. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 2008;139(2_suppl):P93-P94. doi:10.1016/j.otohns.2008.05.502.
    3. Clark ES, Brown B, Whigham AS, Kochaishvili A, Yarbrough WG, Weaver AM. Aggressiveness of HNSCC tumors depends on expression levels of cortactin, a gene in the 11q13 amplicon. Oncogene. 2009 Jan 22;28(3):431-44. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.389. Epub 2008 Oct 20. PMID: 18931703; PMCID: PMC2709457.
    4. Law JH, Whigham AS, Wirth PS, Liu D, Pham MQ, Vadivelu S, Kirkbride KC, Brown BT, Burkey BB, Sinard RJ, Netterville JL, Yarbrough WG. Human-in-mouse modeling of primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2009 Dec;119(12):2315-23. doi: 10.1002/lary.20607. PMID: 19693929.
    5. Gubanova E, Brown B, Ivanov SV, Helleday T, Mills GB, Yarbrough WG, Issaeva N. Downregulation of SMG-1 in HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma due to promoter hypermethylation correlates with improved survival. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Mar 1;18(5):1257-67. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2058. Epub 2012 Jan 13. PMID: 22247495; PMCID: PMC4010255.
    6. Hoshino D, Jourquin J, Emmons SW, Miller T, Goldgof M, Costello K, Tyson DR, Brown B, Lu Y, Prasad NK, Zhang B, Mills GB, Yarbrough WG, Quaranta V, Seiki M, Weaver AM. Network analysis of the focal adhesion to invadopodia transition identifies a PI3K-PKCα invasive signaling axis. Sci Signal. 2012 Sep 11;5(241):ra66. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2002964. PMID: 22969158; PMCID: PMC3583194.
    7. Ivanov SV, Panaccione A, Brown B, Guo Y, Moskaluk CA, Wick MJ, Brown JL, Ivanova AV, Issaeva N, El-Naggar AK, Yarbrough WG. TrkC signaling is activated in adenoid cystic carcinoma and requires NT-3 to stimulate invasive behavior. Oncogene. 2013 Aug 8;32(32):3698-710. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.377. Epub 2012 Oct 1. PMID: 23027130.
    8. Slebos RJ, Jehmlich N, Brown B, Yin Z, Chung CH, Yarbrough WG, Liebler DC. Proteomic analysis of oropharyngeal carcinomas reveals novel HPV-associated biological pathways. Int J Cancer. 2013 Feb 1;132(3):568-79. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27699. Epub 2012 Jul 20. PMID: 22733545; PMCID: PMC3479311.
    9. Godoy JM, Sewell A, Johnston B, Brown BT, Lu X, Sinard RJ, Rohde S, Mannion K, Netterville JL, Yarbrough WG. Viable biobanking of primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Laryngoscope. 2013 Mar;123(3):641-5. doi: 10.1002/lary.23674. Epub 2013 Jan 8. PMID: 23299699.
    10. Ivanov SV, Panaccione A, Nonaka D, Prasad ML, Boyd KL, Brown B, Guo Y, Sewell A, Yarbrough WG. Diagnostic SOX10 gene signatures in salivary adenoid cystic and breast basal-like carcinomas. Br J Cancer. 2013 Jul 23;109(2):444-51. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.326. Epub 2013 Jun 25. PMID: 23799842; PMCID: PMC3721393.
    11. Sewell A, Brown B, Biktasova A, Mills GB, Lu Y, Tyson DR, Issaeva N, Yarbrough WG. Reverse-phase protein array profiling of oropharyngeal cancer and significance of PIK3CA mutations in HPV-associated head and neck cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 May 1;20(9):2300-11. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-2585. Epub 2014 Mar 5. PMID: 24599934; PMCID: PMC4027970
    12. Parfenov M, Pedamallu CS, Gehlenborg N, Freeman SS, Danilova L, Bristow CA, Lee S, Hadjipanayis AG, Ivanova EV, Wilkerson MD, Protopopov A, Yang L, Seth S, Song X, Tang J, Ren X, Zhang J, Pantazi A, Santoso N, Xu AW, Mahadeshwar H, Wheeler DA, Haddad RI, Jung J, Ojesina AI, Issaeva N, Yarbrough WG, Hayes DN, Grandis JR, El-Naggar AK, Meyerson M, Park PJ, Chin L, Seidman JG, Hammerman PS, Kucherlapati R; Cancer Genome Atlas Network. Characterization of HPV and host genome interactions in primary head and neck cancers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Oct 28;111(43):15544-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1416074111. Epub 2014 Oct 13. PMID: 25313082; PMCID: PMC4217452.
    13. Cancer Genome Atlas Network. Comprehensive genomic characterization of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Nature. 2015 Jan 29;517(7536):576-82. doi: 10.1038/nature14129. PMID: 25631445; PMCID: PMC4311405.
    14. Simonik EA, Cai Y, Kimmelshue KN, Brantley-Sieders DM, Loomans HA, Andl CD, Westlake GM, Youngblood VM, Chen J, Yarbrough WG, Brown BT, Nagarajan L, Brandt SJ. LIM-Only Protein 4 (LMO4) and LIM Domain Binding Protein 1 (LDB1) Promote Growth and Metastasis of Human Head and Neck Cancer (LMO4 and LDB1 in Head and Neck Cancer). PLoS One. 2016 Oct 25;11(10):e0164804. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164804. PMID: 27780223; PMCID: PMC5079595.
    15. Cannonier SA, Gonzales CB, Ely K, Guelcher SA, Sterling JA. Hedgehog and TGFβ signaling converge on Gli2 to control bony invasion and bone destruction in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 15;7(46):76062-76075. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12584. PMID: 27738315; PMCID: PMC5340177.
    16. Bauman JE, Duvvuri U, Gooding WE, Rath TJ, Gross ND, Song J, Jimeno A, Yarbrough WG, Johnson FM, Wang L, Chiosea S, Sen M, Kass J, Johnson JT, Ferris RL, Kim S, Hirsch FR, Ellison K, Flaherty JT, Mills GB, Grandis JR. Randomized, placebo-controlled window trial of EGFR, Src, or combined blockade in head and neck cancer. JCI Insight. 2017 Mar 23;2(6):e90449. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.90449. PMID: 28352657; PMCID: PMC5358497.
    17. Zeng Q, Fu J, Korrer M, Gorbounov M, Murray PJ, Pardoll D, Masica DL, Kim YJ. Caspase-1 from Human Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Can Promote T Cell-Independent Tumor Proliferation. Cancer Immunol Res. 2018 May;6(5):566-577. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0543. Epub 2018 Apr 13. PMID: 29653983; PMCID: PMC9336537.
    18. Gallant JN, Sewell A, Almodovar K, Wang Q, Dahlman KB, Abramson RG, Kapp ME, Brown BT, Boyd KL, Gilbert J, Cohen DN, Yarbrough WG, Zhao Z, Lovly CM. Genomic landscape of a metastatic malignant proliferating tricholemmal tumor and its response to PI3K inhibition. NPJ Precis Oncol. 2019 Feb 15;3:5. doi: 10.1038/s41698-019-0077-2. PMID: 30793038; PMCID: PMC6377617.
    19. Pai SI, Cohen EEW, Lin D, Fountzilas G, Kim ES, Mehlhorn H, Baste N, Clayburgh D, Lipworth L, Resteghini C, Shara N, Fujii T, Zhang J, Stokes M, Wang H, Twumasi-Ankrah P, Wildsmith S, Khaliq A, Melillo G, Shire N. SUPREME-HN: a retrospective biomarker study assessing the prognostic value of PD-L1 expression in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Transl Med. 2019 Dec 26;17(1):429. doi: 10.1186/s12967-019-02182-1. PMID: 31878938; PMCID: PMC6933901.
    20. Lang Kuhs KA, Wood CB, Wiggleton J, Aulino JM, Latimer B, Smith DK, Bender N, Rohde S, Mannion K, Kim Y, Sinard R, Langerman A, Fleischer A, Fakhry C, Waterboer T, Netterville JL. Transcervical sonography and human papillomavirus 16 E6 antibodies are sensitive for the detection of oropharyngeal cancer. Cancer. 2020 Jun 1;126(11):2658-2665. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32799. Epub 2020 Mar 4. PMID: 32129894; PMCID: PMC7829679.
    21. Vilgelm AE, Bergdorf K, Wolf M, Bharti V, Shattuck-Brandt R, Blevins A, Jones C, Phifer C, Lee M, Lowe C, Hongo R, Boyd K, Netterville J, Rohde S, Idrees K, Bauer JA, Westover D, Reinfeld B, Baregamian N, Richmond A, Rathmell WK, Lee E, McDonald OG, Weiss VL. Fine-Needle Aspiration-Based Patient-Derived Cancer Organoids. iScience. 2020 Aug 21;23(8):101408. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101408. Epub 2020 Jul 24. PMID: 32771978; PMCID: PMC7415927.
    22. Liu X, Liu P, Chernock RD, Kuhs KAL, Lewis JS Jr, Luo J, Gay HA, Thorstad WL, Wang X. A prognostic gene expression signature for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. EBioMedicine. 2020 Nov;61:102805. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102805. Epub 2020 Oct 7. PMID: 33038770; PMCID: PMC7648117.
    23. Bergdorf K, Phifer C, Bharti V, Westover D, Bauer J, Vilgelm A, Lee E, Weiss V. High-throughput drug screening of fine-needle aspiration-derived cancer organoids. STAR Protoc. 2020 Dec 16;1(3):100212. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2020.100212. PMID: 33377106; PMCID: PMC7757655.
    24. Phifer CJ, Bergdorf KN, Bechard ME, Vilgelm A, Baregamian N, McDonald OG, Lee E, Weiss VL. Obtaining patient-derived cancer organoid cultures via fine-needle aspiration. STAR Protoc. 2020 Dec 21;2(1):100220. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2020.100220. PMID: 33377121; PMCID: PMC7758553.
    25. Bergdorf KN, Phifer CJ, Bechard ME, Lee MA, McDonald OG, Lee E, Weiss VL. Immunofluorescent staining of cancer spheroids and fine-needle aspiration-derived organoids. STAR Protoc. 2021 May 31;2(2):100578. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2021.100578. PMID: 34136836; PMCID: PMC8182106.
    26. Luginbuhl AJ, Johnson JM, Harshyne LA, Linnenbach AJ, Shukla SK, Alnemri A, Kumar G, Cognetti DM, Curry JM, Kotlov N, Antysheva Z, Degryse S, Mannion K, Gibson MK, Netterville J, Brown B, Axelrod R, Zinner R, Tuluc M, Gargano S, Leiby BE, Shimada A, Mahoney MG, Martinez-Outschoorn U, Rodeck U, Kim YJ, South AP, Argiris A. Tadalafil Enhances Immune Signatures in Response to Neoadjuvant Nivolumab in Resectable Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Mar 1;28(5):915-927. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1816. PMID: 34911681; PMCID: PMC8898272.
    27. Obradovic A, Graves D, Korrer M, Wang Y, Roy S, Naveed A, Xu Y, Luginbuhl A, Curry J, Gibson M, Idrees K, Hurley P, Jiang P, Liu XS, Uppaluri R, Drake CG, Califano A, Kim YJ. Immunostimulatory Cancer-Associated Fibroblast Subpopulations Can Predict Immunotherapy Response in Head and Neck Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2022 May 13;28(10):2094-2109. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-3570. PMID: 35262677; PMCID: PMC9161438.
    28. Taylor D, Meyer CT, Graves D, Sen R, Fu J, Tran E, Mirza B, Rodriguez G, Lang C, Feng H, Quaranta V, Wilson JT, Kim YJ, Korrer MJ. MuSyC dosing of adjuvanted cancer vaccines optimizes antitumor responses. Front Immunol. 2022 Aug 19;13:936129. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.936129. PMID: 36059502; PMCID: PMC9437625.
    29. Lang C, Roy S, Wang Y, Graves D, Xu Y, Serezani CH, Korrer M, Kim YJ. Efferocytosis drives myeloid NLRP3 dependent inflammasome signaling secretion of IL-1β to promote tumor growth. Front Immunol. 2022 Nov 9;13:993771. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.993771. PMID: 36439171; PMCID: PMC9681818.
    30. The NCI Patient-Derived Models Repository (PDMR), NCI-Frederick, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD. URL — https://pdmr.cancer.gov/.
    31. The NCI The Cancer Genome Atlas Program (TCGA), NCI-Frederick, Center for Cancer Genomics, Frederick, MD.  URL – The Cancer Genome Atlas Program (TCGA) - NCI
    32. GlasxoSmithKline - Retrospective epidemiological study on the expression of tumour antigens present in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
  • ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:  NCT00898638

    VU-VICC-IRB:  030062


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