The Maastricht University Medical Centre participates in the so-called 'Parelsnoer Institute'. The Parelsnoer Institute (PSI), established in 2007 by the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), offers researchers within the eight University Medical Centres an infrastructure and standard procedures for the establishment, expansion and optimisation of clinical biobanks for scientific research. By collecting and storing clinical data, images and human biomaterial together in a uniform manner from carefully documented patients suffering the same illness, large cohorts are established (the so-called ‘Pearls’) that enable broader scientific research.
The Parelsnoer institute initially focused on eight diseases: neurodegenerative diseases, leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis and arthrosis, hereditary colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, renal failure, diabetes, cerebrovascular accident. In the past years new Pearls have been added: congenital heart disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia, parkinson’s disease, oesophageal and gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Each UMC takes responsibility for the coordination of one of the pearls. The Maastricht UMC+ and the VUMC share the responsibility for the pearls neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.
The Parelsnoer Institute ensures that scientific research is connected with high quality health care in a natural manner, which enables easy and reliable patient research and supports the development of scientific knowledge and innovative methods of treatment to improve health care or even prevent the disease in the future. To ensure patient privacy clinical data is encrypted and carefully stored in a central database. Human biomaterials are collected according to nationally agreed standards.