1. Sample acquisition and storage. We have conceived a procedure for the acquisition and storage of biological samples, which eliminate many of the exogenous factors that distort the molecular features of the cells in the samples and standardize the remaining ones. The samples can be taken from solid tumors or hematologic malignancies (source of cancer cells) as well as from blood or saliva (source of non-cancer cells containing the patient's genome). In a series of experiments employing our procedure, we have successfully obtained samples that were suitable for the simultaneous isolation of DNA, RNA, proteins and histological sections of high-quality, even after seven years of storage.
  2. Biomarker research. We have developed a concept for the identification of high-quality biomarkers with the highest reproducibility and accuracy in their medical predictions. This concept involves our procedure for sample acquisition and storage (see above), the collection of data and samples in a biobank, the use of the samples for the molecular investigation of both cancer cells and cells of patient's organism under consideration of their genomic heterogeneity. Working together with internationally renowned breast cancer experts, and employing our concept, we have conceived a research program to identify biomarkers for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, with approx 1,100,000 new cases and 519,000 deaths worldwide per year.1
  3. Drug selection. We have developed a strategy for the identification of the most suitable drugs for an individual cancer patient. The strategy includes our procedure for acquisition and storage of patient samples (see above), the analysis of the sample DNA and RNA with NGS and bioinformatics, the analysis and integration of the obtained molecular data with clinical information, and a validation step.
  1. WHO (2008) The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 Update. ISBN 978 92 4 156371 0 (siehe S. 30, 54)