In 2001 a group of Victorian oncologists, researchers and pathologists developed the idea of a coordinated and large scale biobank with centralised access to annotated biospecimens.

By 2003 initial seed funding was provided by the Cancer Council Victoria and was used to employ a project officer to coordinate the standardisation of protocols and datasets across four major tissue bank in metropolitan Melbourne. This formed a solid basis for a grant application to the Victorian Government.

In June 2006, the Consortium Agreement was signed by four founding members: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Health, Austin Health and Southern Health with Cancer Council Victoria as the lead agency. With $7 million funding from the Victorian Government through an STI Grant from the Department of Business and Innovation (formerly Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development), the Victorian Cancer Biobank was born.

In 2009 the Victorian Government, through the Victorian Cancer Agency, provided additional funding for expansion to regional Victoria, the support of clinical and project specific research and for the implementation of a pathology digital imaging system.

In mid-2012 the VCB welcomed the Government’s decision to provide ongoing funding of $14.9 million per annum to continue to support translational research in Victoria through the Victorian Cancer Agency, and in particular, the commitment of $2.3 million to 30 June 2013 to fund the ongoing operations of the VCB and to support our transition towards being an important part of the integrated cancer research platform.

In the next 12 months and beyond we will continue to work with the donors from the community, clinicians and cancer researchers to ensure that we provide quality human biospecimens to researchers whose work will lead to improvements in the diagnosis and management of cancer.