New game supports life-saving cancer research

The new app has been launched to get more patients taking part in life-saving research at The King's Health Partners Cancer Biobank at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

Biobank appThe app has been developed by King's Health Partners Cancer Biobank at Guy’s and St Thomas’, in partnership with Focus Games, to help patients understand what biobanking is and why their consent is so important. The game was launched at the UK Biobanking Showcase in Nottingham (on Tuesday 19 November).

Biobanks store blood and tissue samples for use in medical research and play a critical role in helping scientists understand diseases and find new treatments. However, they cannot collect and save samples without the explicit consent of patients.

The Biobanking Game is a unique app that delivers vital information to patients that explains the consent process. It can be offered to patients on tablet devices in a clinic or they can download it from an app store free of charge to play at home.

Dr Cheryl Gillett, head of biobanking at Guy’s and St Thomas’, and King’s College London, said:

We know that many patients struggle with the amount of information they receive when facing a cancer diagnosis. This often means that information explaining the biobank and patient consent can be overlooked.

The game was created with funding from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity. It takes the patient through the consent process step by step and allows them to return to it multiple times to check understanding.

‘Sammy the Sample’ is the guide and question-master on a journey from hospital clinic to biobank to research lab. Along the way Sammy highlights the impact that research using donated samples has made on patient care today and tests your knowledge.

Whilst some scenes are specific to Guy’s and St Thomas’, such as the eye-catching Guy’s Cancer Centre, the journey Sammy takes is typical of many biobanks and research studies.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Focus Games Ltd are commercialising the app by creating customised versions for other biobanks and clinical trial projects around the world. The Biobanking Game can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play free of charge.

Find out more and download the Biobanking Game now on the Guys’ and St Thomas’ website.

As a European Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the King's Health Partners Cancer Clinical Academic Group brings together world-class clinical services, research and education for the benefit of cancer patients in south east London and beyond.