Sanguine Connections: Enhancing Research with Collection of Multiple Biospecimens

Welcome to Sanguine Connections, exploring the process, challenges, and nuances of biospecimen procurement for translational studies.


Sanguine Connections


Enhancing Research with Collection of Multiple Biospecimens

Unraveling the intricacies of human biology is integral to advancing knowledge and improving healthcare outcomes. One powerful tool that researchers utilize to achieve this understanding is the collection of multiple types of human biospecimens. These samples, which include blood, saliva, urine, and more, offer a wealth of information that can provide valuable insights into disease mechanism, progression, and treatment responses.  

Interconnected insights: Examining various biospecimens together can reveal interactions between different biological systems, such as the relationship between the gut microbiome and immune response. Coupling multiple sample types and comprehensive data provides an even more holistic view of the individual. 

Novel biomarkers: The varied composition of different biospecimens enables researchers to identify specific biomarkers associated with diseases. Through the analysis of multiple biospecimens, researchers may detect diseases at an earlier stage, leading to improved diagnostic accuracy and potentially better treatment outcomes.


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Multiple Biospecimens in Action


A Case Study in Oncology

Cancer research continually evolves, with a growing focus on the relationship between the microbiome and cancer treatment efficacy as evident by the plethora of research articles across cancer types. Collecting diverse biospecimens is pivotal for microbiome and cancer research, but also challenging for the donors as they already are undergoing treatments and thus additional visits to a clinic can be a burden. Further, with multiple types of samples needed, collection itself can be tricky. Sanguine performed a prospective longitudinal study requiring multiple visits over a four month period from hundreds of donors who met the inclusion/exclusion criteria, as well as healthy donors.  Our extensive donor network and recruitment efforts resulted in the ability to enroll 250 people diagnosed with cancer receiving either chemotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors as part of their treatment and 60 healthy donors for collections of whole blood, urine, stool, and buccal swab samples for this study.


A Case Study in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM)

Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of biologics can be necessary for a variety of reasons, including determining most effective baseline, narrow therapeutic index, and significant variability in pharmacokinetics. TDM involves measuring the drug concentrations and anti-drug antibodies and thus requires robust assay development for multiple biospecimens. These studies require multiple sample types being collected over time, and often additional information such as customized questionnaires and patient-reported outcomes are crucial for linking the donor experience with quantifiable assays performed on the biospecimens. Sanguine performed in-home collections of whole blood, serum, and stool from donors with ulcerative colitis (UC) and healthy matched controls (by age, gender, and similar ethnicity), for weekly visits over the course of one month. Additionally, self-reported data points were taken preceding each collection visit. 


In both these case studies, much of the success in recruiting donors for this study can be attributed to Sanguine’s robust Donor Network of over 70,000 people, and in-home collections. By lowering the burden for people to participate in research by performing sample collections in their homes, at their convenience, it makes becoming a donor that much more accessible. And success is evident – in the UC case study described above, there was 100% delivered to plan with 160 visits in total. 

Collecting multiple types of biospecimens from a single individual can be essential for certain research studies. This approach provides interconnected insights, helps identify novel biomarkers, and enhances diagnostic and treatment outcomes. Sanguine’s in-home collection significantly reduces the burden on donors, ensuring high participation rates and thereby reliable data. As demonstrated in the case studies, this method facilitates groundbreaking discoveries in cancer treatment and drug monitoring, ultimately advancing healthcare and improving patient outcomes.


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By: Eliza Small, Ph.D.

Director, Content Marketing at Sanguine