Serum Management Committee
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Management and storage of blood-serum samples collected as part of the Study of Health Outcomes in Aircraft Maintenance Personnel (SHOAMP)
In 2004, the study (SHOAMP) collected blood-serum samples from F-111 aircraft-maintenance personnel and control groups who were study participants. Many, but not all, participants gave consent* for their samples to be stored beyond the period of the study and used for research (as detailed to study participants at the time).
In 2005, a Serum Management Committee (the Committee) was established to manage the long-term storage of, and access to, the samples.
Approximately 1,500 study participants donated blood. There are approximately 8,700 samples, and 1,300 Guthrie cards (a spot of blood on a piece of card) bio-banked with a sample-storage provider. The samples are not labelled with the participant’s name for privacy reasons.
Activity reports outlining the work that the Committee has completed over previous years are available below:
- SHOAMP SMC Activity Report 2013-2020 (PDF 321 KB)
- SHOAMP SMC Activity Report 2021 (PDF 618 KB)
- SHOAMP SMC Activity Report 2022 (PDF 515 KB)
The Committee is responsible to the Repatriation Commission and the Military Compensation and Rehabilitation Commission (the Commissions) in terms of its operational activities.
- manages the long-term maintenance and storage of the samples to ensure that the sample-storage provider meets its contractual obligations;
- evaluates the merits of continued retention of the samples;
- makes recommendations on the merits of research applications seeking access to the samples or study data;
- confirms that approval is sought from the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (DDVA HREC) prior to considering any proposal to use the samples or study data in research or to discontinue their storage; and
- reports to the Commissions annually.
The Committee is made up of representatives from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Department of Defence, and the veteran community.
The providers who hold the samples and the de-identified study data act as observers on the Committee. These observers have no input into Committee recommendations.
- is responsible for ensuring that research-proposal applicants are advised of any decision related to the proposal;
- maintains detailed records pertaining to the request for use of the samples;
- ensures that an appropriate complaints-handling mechanism is established in relation to storage, Committee operations, or any new research proposals;
- consults with DDVA HREC prior to the destruction of any samples belonging to deceased donors; and
- ensures that any future research abides by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) and complies with the Information Privacy Principles.
Membership of the Committee
- Repatriation Commissioner (Chair)
- Air Force Association representative (Member)
- Deseal/Reseal Support Group representative (Member)
- DVA Deputy Chief Health Officer (Member)
- DVA Assistant Secretary, Community Policy and Research Branch, Policy and Research Division (Member)
- Department of Defence, Senior Medical Advisor, Military Population Health, Joint Health Command (Member)
To contact the Committee Secretariat, please email: research.partnerships [at] dva.gov.au
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