World Endometriosis Research Foundation Endometriosis Phenome and Biobanking Harmonisation Project IV Tissue collection processing and storage in endometriosis research

An international collaboration of endometriosis research and biobanking experts developed standard operating procedures for the collection, processing, and storage of biological tissue samples in endometriosis and control subjects to allow large-scale collaborative research.


Amelie Fassbender, Ph.D., Nilufer Rahmioglu, Ph.D., Allison Vitonis, S.M., Paola Vigano, Ph.D., Linda Giudice, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas D’Hooghe, M.D., Ph.D., Lone Hummelshoj, G.D., Adamson, M.D., Christian Becker, M.D., Stacey A. Missmer, Sc.D., Krina T. Zondervan, D.Phil.

Volume 102, Issue 5, Pages 1244-1253



To harmonize standard operating procedures (SOPs) and standardize the recording of associated data for collection, processing, and storage of human tissues relevant to endometriosis.


An international collaboration involving 34 clinical/academic centers and three industry collaborators from 16 countries on five continents.


In 2013, two workshops were conducted followed by global consultation, bringing together 54 leaders in endometriosis research and sample processing from around the world.




Consensus SOPs were based on: 1) systematic comparison of SOPs from 24 global centers collecting tissue samples from women with and without endometriosis on a medium or large scale (publication on >100 cases); 2) literature evidence where available, or consultation with laboratory experts otherwise; and 3) several global consultation rounds.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Standard recommended and minimum required SOPs for tissue collection, processing, and storage in endometriosis research.


We developed “recommended standard” and “minimum required” SOPs for the collection, processing, and storage of ectopic and eutopic endometrium, peritoneum, and myometrium, and a biospecimen data collection form necessary for interpretation of sample-derived results.


The EPHect SOPs allow endometriosis research centers to decrease variability in tissue-based results, facilitating between-center comparisons and collaborations. The procedures are also relevant to research into other gynecologic conditions involving endometrium, myometrium, and peritoneum. The consensus SOPs are based on the best available evidence; areas with limited evidence are identified as requiring further pilot studies. The SOPs will be reviewed based on investigator feedback and through systematic triannual follow-up. Updated versions will be made available at:

Read the full text at: