FreezerPro Inventory Management Software Adopted at Cancer Research Institute

Despite decades of research, almost 9 million people still die from cancer every year1. Cancer has been so difficult to cure because it is a genetically heterogeneous disease that affects many different organs and tissues. Personalized cancer medicines and targeted therapeutics are designed to treat specific cancer-causing mutations and cancer subtypes2. Therefore, these next-generation cancer therapies have the potential to cure many, if not all, types of cancer. Personalized cancer medicine is a growing field of research that studies biological samples from many people to understand which therapies will work in certain patients. This means personalized medicine researchers must manage large frozen sample inventories.


The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Australia works to discover and develop breakthrough personalized cancer medicines and targeted therapeutics. The center is a fully integrated hospital and cancer research institute. The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI) is embedded within the hospital allowing clinicians and researchers to work together to translate clinical observations into cutting edge personalized cancer medicines.


The Problem: ONJCRI’s Complex Frozen Sample Inventory

Researchers at ONJCRI are developing new targeted therapeutics for many different types of cancer including lung, breast, bowel, liver, gastrointestinal and brain cancer3. ONJCRI’s scientists and clinicians have been collecting clinical samples and cancer cell lines for over 10 years and have a large frozen sample inventory. Researchers at ONJCRI are currently running over 60 clinical trials including testing new immunotherapies and personalized cancer therapies. ONJCRI is also a NATA accredited testing site for plasma mutation and methylation testing4. The institute must manage a large and complex frozen sample inventory in a way that maintains sample quality and integrity and complies with international regulatory requirements.


The Solution: FreezerPro Inventory Management System

Mark Frewin is Laboratory and Facilities Manager at ONJCRI. In a recent case study, Mark explained how Brooks Life Sciences FreezerPro® frozen sample inventory management system helped ONJCRI improve their biobanking quality system, maintain frozen sample quality and comply with international regulatory requirements.

FreezerPro is a biological sample management inventory system used in over 800 laboratories around the world. It provides laboratories with a secure web-based application for managing frozen sample inventories. FreezerPro is an intuitive, fast, reliable and secure solution which enables users to know precisely where a frozen sample is located even before opening the freezer door. With FreezerPro, research organizations can manage access permissions for users, create new sample sources, set up new freezers, manage stock level alerts and perform sample and data audits.

ONJCRI decided to implement FreezerPro to manage their frozen sample inventory because they needed a solution that was user-friendly, highly secure and customizable to the needs of individual laboratory groups with different sample types. The institute chose an on-premise installation of FreezerPro which allows them to take advantage of the cost-saving benefit of cloud technologies, particularly for services, but also lets them store research data outside of the cloud due to regulatory, IP and privacy exposure concerns.

Mark Frewin explained that FreezerPro has allowed ONJCRI to implement standardized processes across the creation of master and working cell banks, and the handling and storage of all frozen samples. The system also standardizes consumables such as freezer boxes and cryovials and uses an infallible barcoded labeling system for safer, easily identifiable frozen sample storage.


“FreezerPro was implemented to move from inaccurate inaccessible individual paper trails to one accurate accessible database institute wide,” Mark said.

To read the entire case study, download here.



1. World Health Organization: Cancer Fact Sheet  

2. Jackson, S. and Chester, JD. Personalised cancer medicine. Int J Cancer. 2015

3. Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute: Our achievements

4. Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute: Testing Services