PURPOSE: Approximately 70,000 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) workers have been exposed to beryllium (Be). In recognition of Be’s adverse health effects, the DOE established the Beryllium Bio-Repository (BBR) in 2005 to facilitate research by collecting and archiving biological specimens and related clinical and exposure data from Be-exposed workers. Our goal for this abstract is to raise awareness of the BBR.
METHODS: The BBR is directed by a Steering Committee comprised of pulmonary and occupational medicine physicians from five Clinical Centers (NJH, HUP, UCLA, UCSF, and ETPA), Be workers and DOE representatives, and includes a Data Coordinating Center at UCD, Beryllium Exposed Referant Core, Specimen Core Laboratory, and Genetics and Plasma Core Laboratory. A protocol was developed to enroll employees of the DOE and its contractors with chronic beryllium disease (CBD), beryllium sensitization (BeS), or Be-exposure without sensitization or disease (BeNS). BeS and CBD participants are asked to provide: (1) blood for DNA, plasma, and cell pellet; (2) a questionnaire to obtain demographic, occupational and exposure history; (3) permission to review and abstract medical records and (4) if available, permission to collect radiographic images of the chest, pulmonary function tests, leftover BAL fluid, cells, and transbronchial biopsy lung tissue. BeNS are asked to provide both (1) and (2).
RESULTS: Since April 2007, 522 participants have been enrolled: 27% CBD, 38% BeS and 35% BeNS. Most participants are male (82%), >59 years of age (88%) and White/Non-Hispanic (93%). The most common sites of employment are Rocky Flats (CBD/BeS 21%, BeNS 45%) and Oak Ridge (CBD/BeS 17%, BeNS 17%). At the end of the collection period (June-2010), de-identified biological specimens and clinical data will be transferred to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which will maintain the BBR and manage inquiries and access for future investigators with a Research Review Committee.
CONCLUSION: The BBR will provide researchers with a well characterized cohort, specimens and data to conduct CBD research.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: A better understanding of CDB through studying BBR data.
DISCLOSURE: Paul Scanlon, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information