Chernobyl Tissue Bank (CTB)
The incidence of thyroid cancer has dramatically increased in areas exposed to high levels of fallout from the Chernobyl accident particularly in those who were very young at the time of the accident. This has raised important issues in the areas of public health, regulation of exposure to radionuclides and in the understanding of the molecular changes involved in carcinogenesis. In order to help scientists all over the world carry out these studies the CTB (Chernobyl Tissue Bank) was originally set up in 1999 and supported by the Governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine together with a funding body of the European Commission (EC), WHO, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the USA, and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF) of Japan.
The project is currently supported by the governments of the Russian Federation and Ukraine but not in Belarus. Funds to support the tissue bank are currently provided by the EC, the National Cancer Institute of the USA, and SMHF but not from WHO itself. However, WHO is contributing as an active member of Scientific Committee. The valuable materials and data obtained from Chernobyl thyroid cancer patients are essential for the promotion of molecular cancer epidemiology, especially radiation-induced thyroid cancers.