Looking for help? Email bioms@alliancenctn.org
Or Phone 1(855)-55-BIOMS or 1(855)-552-4667

1 - Frequently Asked Questions

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What is BioMS?

The Alliance Biospecimen Management System (BioMS) is a web-based application for registering and tracking shipment of patient biospecimens collected from any Alliance or legacy CALGB, ACOSOG, or NCCTG trial.  It serves a similar function as the previous CALGB specimen tracking tool, STS.  BioMS also provides access to a comprehensive inventory of all specimens collected across all Alliance group biorepositories.

What if I was previously using CALGB STS or completing biospecimen submission CRF forms?

All biospecimen submissions for Alliance trials and legacy CALGB, ACOSOG, and NCCTG trials should be registered in BioMS.  This is true even if you were previously using CALGB STS or CRF forms to complete biospecimen submissions.  Even if you previously used STS or paper CRF forms to submit an initial set of specimens for a trial participant, any further biospecimen submissions, even for that same participant, should be registered and shipped using the BioMS application.

I have entered data into RAVE; do I also need to enter data into BioMS?

Yes.  RAVE and BioMS are currently independent systems.  Regardless of what data or forms you are required to submit to RAVE regarding biospecimen submission, you still must log the collection of and ship biospecimens using the BioMS application.

What do I need to use BioMS? Also, what web browsers can I use?  Last Updated Jun 30, 2023 

You will need a computer (desktop, laptop, or tablet) with access to the Internet using one the certified browsers for BioMS. The certified browsers for BioMs are as follows.

  • For Windows: Chrome version v114.0, Firefox version  v115.0 or Microsoft Edge  v114.0

  • For Mac: Safari v16

What information will I need to provide to BioMS?

You will need your CTEP user name and password to log into BioMS, even if you have already logged into the Alliance member web site.  You will need the patient study number and/or the protocol number corresponding to the biospecimens that you have collected, in order to locate the patient registration in BioMS.  BioMS will request that you indicate which of the required protocol biospecimens have been collected, the quantity of material collected, and the date of collection.  Some specimens for some protocols may require additional information to be entered into BioMS (see specific protocol instructions).

What if I cannot access BioMS?

 In cases where there is a temporary, planned outage of BioMS, you should receive a broadcast message by email. If you are able to access other Internet sites on your computer, but cannot access BioMS, call the BioMS Help Desk at 1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).  If you have no Internet access on your computer, please contact your local computer support desk. 

What if I cannot log into BioMS?

You will need your CTEP or ID.Me user name and password to log into BioMS, even if you have already logged into the Alliance member web site.  If you do not have a CTEP  ID or have forgotten your CTEP user name or password, please visit CTEP Password Reset

If your  CTEP user name and password is correct, but you still cannot log into BioMS, and are receiving a User Not Authorized error, please contact the BioMS Help Desk at  1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).

How do I use BioMS

BioMS has a graphical user interface and functionality very similar to the former CALGB STS system.  A full set of user manuals, FAQs, and training videos are available at the BioMS help site:  BioSpecimen Management System - BioMS.  For immediate answers to more specific questions, please contact the BioMS Help Desk at: 1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667) or by clicking on the ‘Help’ link on the BioMS log in or application pages.

Who will be registering the study participants?

Participant registration will be performed in the OPEN system, not BioMS.  BioMS receives electronic messages from the OPEN system that will register the participant on the appropriate study(s) in BioMS without user intervention.

Do I need to record collected biospecimens in BioMS?

YES.  All biospecimens collected for any Alliance trial or legacy ACOSOG, NCCTG, or CALGB trial must be logged as collected in BioMS prior to shipment to one of the Alliance biorepositories or assay laboratories.  BioMS will allow you to create and print a packing list to be included with the biospecimen shipment.  BioMS can also provide you with collection and shipping instructions.  Note that in the future, sites may not receive credit for biospecimen submission unless biospecimens are first properly logged as collected in BioMS prior to shipment to an Alliance biorepository.

When do I log in to BioMs to record that my biospecimens have been collected?

Biospecimens should be registered in BioMS after they are physically collected.  The patient must have been registered in OPEN before they will appear in BioMs.  BioMS will require that you know the patient registration number that was assigned by OPEN, and the study, collection time point, and date / time of specimen collection.  You can review specimen requirements and collection instructions in BioMS prior to collecting specimens.  In all cases, biospecimens should be logged as collected in BioMS, assigned to a shipment, and a packing list created and printed for inclusion in the shipment, prior to physically shipping specimens to an Alliance repository.  In the event that biospecimens were shipped prior to their registration in BioMS, please call the BioMS Help Desk for further assistance:  1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).

What if I am sending a biospecimen to an ‘assay laboratory’ or some other location other than an Alliance biorepository?

Any biospecimen designated by the protocol to be shipped or transferred to another repository or laboratory location (with the exception of specimens collected for routine hospital laboratory testing) should be registered in BioMS.

What if I can’t find a study in BioMS?

All studies that involve biospecimen collection that are either actively accruing patients or are closed to accrual but require on-going biospecimen collection should be represented in BioMS.  This includes new Alliance trials as well as legacy CALGB, ACOSOG, and NCCTG trials.  If you can not find a study for which you are trying to collect and ship biospecimens, please contact the BioMS help desk:  1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).

What if I can’t find a patient in BioMS?

All patients registered to any Alliance or legacy CALGB, ACOSOG, or NCCTG trial involving biospecimen collection should be represented in BioMS.  This applies to any patient registered to a trial both before and after BioMS activation.  If you have registered a new patient in OPEN, please allow up to one hour for the patient to appear in BioMS.    If you are unable to locate a patient in BioMS that you need to collect and ship biospecimens for, please contact the BioMS Help desk: 1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).  You will need to provide your institutional affiliation, patient registration ID, patient initials, the date the patient was registered in OPEN, and the study or studies for which the  patient was registered to the Help desk staff.  Alternatively, you may contact the Help desk by email by clicking on the ‘Help’ link on the BioMS application.

Why don’t I see specimens previously collected from a patient in BioMS?  Does this mean that I need to recollect the biospecimens?

Only specimens collected and registered in BioMS after the Go-Live date of April 2, 2013 will initially appear in BioMS.  Data concerning specimens previously collected and submitted via the CALGB STS system or on paper CRF forms will not be visible in BioMS. Such specimens will still appear as ‘Not Collected’ in BioMS specimen logging screen.  This does not mean that these specimens need to be recollected.  Over time, legacy data from STS and each Alliance biorepository inventory will be integrated into BioMS and the complete inventory of all specimens collected from all patients will be searchable and viewable in BioMS.

What if I need to review previous specimens or shipments submitted using the CALGB STS system?

After April 2, 2013, STS will no longer be accessible.  If you require access to STS for the purposes of reviewing previous data and/or biospecimen submissions made before Go-Live, please contact the BioMS Help Desk by email.

 What if I don’t understand one of the BioMS data entry screens as I am registering or shipping a specimen?

Site staff are strongly encouraged to attend one or more of the informational training webinars or review the on-line manuals and training videos available on the BioMS website prior to using BioMS.  If immediate assistance is required while using BioMS to register and ship biospecimens, please call the BioMS Help Desk during its normal hours of operation: 1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).

What if I get an error message or have some other technical problem while using BioMS?

If you are experiencing other technical difficulties or receive an error message while using BioMS, please call the Help Desk during its normal hours of operation: 1-855-55-BIOMS (1-855-552-4667).

What are the BioMS Help Desk hours of operation?

For live support, the BioMS Help desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4.30 PM Central Time.  If assistance is required before or after these hours, please email the BioMS Help Desk (click ‘Help’ on the BioMS application screen) with your contact information and brief description of the problem you are encountering.  You will be contacted by phone or email as soon as possible. If it is an emergency request, please mention that in the email.  

Will BioMS be used to order lab kits?   

BioMS had been used to track specimens only.  The Collection sites was calling or emailing the Biorepository listed in the protocol to request kits. However, with BioMS v2.0 Release, Biospecimen collection kit request and fulfillment is supported in BioMS. It is expected to cut over the current workflow to BioMS by February 25th, 2016.

Will BioMS be used to print Fed Ex labels provided by Alliance?

No, BioMS does not create air bills, but rather creates the packing slip that MUST be sent with specimens.  When the user selects manage shipments, the CRA indicates which courier is being used (in this case FedEx) and enters the Tracking number from the FedEx air bill that has already been created either via FedEx webpage or a pre-printed air bill. If a protocol has an approved pre-printed FedEx air bill, this air bill will be placed inside of the kit that is shipped to the site upon requesting the kit from the Biorepository.  Pre-printed air bills are not the same as a pre-paid air bill.  The Pre-Printed air bill contains information regarding the “ship to”  address and shipping method (ie priority overnight). 

Once we ship specimens, is it our responsibility to go back into BioMS to verify the specimen was received and usable, or will you send an email to confirm?

Yes.  Although the CRA sending samples will be notified by email if a sample received at the repository is unacceptable, it will be the responsibility of the CRA to verify the specimen status by logging into BioMS.

My screen is distorted and some of my function keys do not work.  I am not able to complete my shipment.  What is causing this?

The most likely cause is a browser issue.  Because BioMs is a web based system, it works best with the recommended Browsers listed above. If you notice that the BioMs application is appearing distorted on your screen, check to ensure you are using one of the recommended browsers.  If you are not allowed to download applications or updates on your computer, contact your local IT department. Please contact the help desk for assistance with logging and shipment of specimens until your IT department can update your browser.

The Repository that received my samples called to tell me that they did not receive a Paraffin block that was listed on the packing slip I sent.  I realized that I still have the block here and did not send it with the 10 unstained slides I sent earlier.  How do I log and send the Block now in BioMs since I have already previously marked it as collected and shipped? 

When the shipment is received at the BioReposity, the receiving staff with change the quantity field of the missing block to zero, and record the block as "Not in Shipment" in caTissue.  The biorepository staff will then notify the CRA that the block was missing and needs to be collected and shipped in BioMs.  The CRA will log into BioMs and navigate to the patient specimen checklist visit that contains the Paraffin block.  The status of the block will be displayed as "Received-Not in Shipment".   The CRA will need to click on the "recollect" icon and say yes to collect an additional specimen.  This will create another specimen collection event below the first and allow the block to be logged as collected.  The specimen checklist will then display two collection events for the block, with the first specimen having a quantity of zero, and a status of "Received-Not in Shipment", and the new specimen with the correct quantity and a status of "Collected".    Once the block has been logged as collected, the CRA will add the block to a new shipment and send it on to the repository with the new packing slip.  

I am an ECOG site and have collected specimens for study CALGB 9710.  I do not have access to BioMS.  What are the steps I need to take to get my samples shipped out?

If you are are ECOG or SWOG site and have patients enrolled in a CALGB trial, contact the BioMs help desk for instructions on shipping specimens.  The BioMs help desk will fax or email you the BioMs Specimen Log and Shipping Manifest form to complete.  Once completed, you will fax or email the form back to the BioMs help desk. The Help Desk staff will completed the steps necessary to log patient and specimens in BioMs.  The Help desk will then fax or email you a completed BioMs packing slip to include in the box with the samples to be shipped. NOTE:  Please Do Not Ship the Samples Until You Have Received the BioMs Packing List from The Help Desk.  CALGB studies that may involve ECOG and SWOG: CALGB 9710, 9862, 10001, 10403,10404, and 10701.

I cannot see my specimen on the Pending Specimens list on the Manage Shipments Page.  I have logged it as collected in BioMS. It is a paraffin block that was collected 6 weeks ago. I need to ship this specimen today.

The default view of Manage Shipment page displays all specimens that are pending shipment from your site that have been collected in the last 30 days.  If you have recorded a collection date of greater than 30 days ago, you need to change the view of the Specimens Pending Shipment list by selecting to view "All" from the drop down menu at the top of the Specimens Pending Shipment list. 

I cannot find my patient in BioMs

A. If your patient was just registered today in OPEN, it could take up to 1 hour for the registration to appear in BioMs.  Registrations are updated every 15 minutes.  If you still do not see your patient in BioMs, and it has been at least one hour since they were registered in OPEN, please call the BioMs help desk. 

B. In the retired STS system, CRA's typically searched for patients by selecting the study the patient was registered to.  In the BioMs system, it is better to search for patients by their Registration ID.  If you are having problems finding your patient in BioMs, try searching by the patients registration number.  If you still can't find your patient, please call or email the help desk.  We will need to know the date the patient was registered, what studies the patient was registered to, and the patients registration number and initials. 

Our Site is being Audited.  We need information on a patient that had specimens sent using the retired STS system and we cannot access this system anymore.  Can you help?

A couple members of the BioMs help desk team have read only access to the retired STS system that was replaced by BioMs.  Please email the help desk with the CALGB registration ID number and associated study of the patient you need us to look for in STS.  If any data is available, we will print it out and either fax or email the information to you.   

How do I search for overdue specimens for my site using BioMS Application? 

Once you login to BioMS application, please click on the Overdue Specimen option under SEARCH. More details about this as well as how to search can be found at this link: Overdue Specimens  

How do I search and view collected specimens in BioMS Application?  

Once you login to BioMS application, please click on the Specimens option under SEARCH. Please read details on the top of the specimen search page on how to filter and search. You can search and view collected specimens for a particular specimen ID, Patient ID, Study ID as well as Mandatory Specimens. You may also download a report by clicking the Excel icon if the total number of specimen search results is less than 10,000. 

Looking for help? Email bioms@alliancenctn.org
Or Phone 1(855)-55-BIOMS or 1(855)-552-4667