Partners in Discovery for Total Cancer Care: FAQs

Who can join the Partners in Discovery for Total Cancer Care protocol?

Adult patients at UVA who:

  • Have cancer
  • May have cancer
  • Have known risk for cancer

What will you ask me to do?


To enroll or ask more questions call: 434.243.3398

  • Review and sign a consent form to take part in the research study.
  • Allow us to learn your medical history from your health records.
  • Donate a cheek cell sample about twice a year.
  • Donate one to two extra tubes of blood during a routine blood draw.
    • It won’t be more than twelve teaspoons in an eight-week period.
    • Lab technicians draw this extra blood for research during the same needle stick as other blood tests ordered by your doctor. You won’t be stuck just for this research blood collection.
  • Allow us to save any tissue from surgery not needed for your care in a tissue bank for future research.
    • We won’t ask you to have surgery or donate tissue specifically for this research.
  • Allow us to contact you if we find more studies or surveys that might work for you.


To enroll or ask more questions call: 434.243.3398


What extra things will you ask me to do if I have a known or suspected blood disease?

  • Donate bone marrow samples.
    • These are only taken when you’re having bone marrow collected for your diagnosis or care.
    • We won’t take more than 2 teaspoons in a four-week period.
  • Optional: Donate extra lymph node tissue if you’re having a lymph node biopsy as part of your normal care.

Why do I have to sign a consent form?

Only volunteers can take part in “Partners in Discovery for Total Cancer Care” at UVA. The formal consent process ensures that you understand:

  • What is involved
  • Your rights as a research participant
  • That you’re volunteering

You can stop being part of the study at any time. Once you stop, we’ll destroy any samples not already used and we won’t collect or review any more new information about your health.

We hope to enroll as many patients as we can. However, whether or not you participate in this research doesn’t affect your care at UVA in any way.

What will happen with my samples and medical information?

Researchers at UVA and at other research institutions or commercial companies may use your samples and medical information in their studies. They’re researching genetic and other changes that occur in cancer and related diseases. Their studies may include an analysis of the DNA (genes) in your samples.

Will people know that the specimens and medical information belong to me?

UVA Health is committed to protecting your privacy. There are multiple layers of protection in place to safeguard the privacy of all of our patients. When you donate your specimens to Partners in Discovery, your samples and medical information receive a unique code so that the researchers working with your sample won’t know who you are. While we believe there is very little risk to the safety of your privacy, there are also federal and state laws in place to protect you and your medical information.

For more information, call 434.243.3398.

Please reference IRB-HSR#18445.