The Science, The Challenge, The Solution
Considerable research data demonstrate that RNA and protein levels, RNA and protein expression patterns, including activation or inhibition of signaling pathways and their receptors, as well as protein phosphorylation patterns can change significantly within minutes following surgical resection. Many of those genes and proteins are possibly involved in growth regulation and might serve as targets or stratification markers for new drugs. In addition to the “cold” ischemia time, i.e. the time interval between surgical removal and fixation of tissue, other factors affecting tissue-dependent cancer research for target discovery and drug development include drug treatment and anesthesia of patients before surgical tissue removal, intrasurgical ischemia by ligation of main arteries, the location of a tumor biopsy within a given tumor, processing and fixation of the tissue, and the availability of comprehensive clinical data.
Gene and protein expression and protein phosphorylation patterns are difficult – if not impossible - to compare if biospecimens have not been collected and corresponding data have not been documented in the same way. This issue is usually overlooked because most analyses can also be performed on degraded samples or on samples which have not been properly handled and stored. Then, however, results and read-outs from modern instruments are often misleading, as the data may not reflect the molecular realities of the sample as they were while still in the human body.
Therefore, controlled and rapid tissue processing is a prerequisite for understanding biological differences of or within patient tumors, and when developing targeted molecular therapies.
INDIVUMED has established a unique infrastructure and stringently follows highly standardized processes which enable us to collect and preserve biospecimens as quickly as possible. INDIVUMED´s system generates biospecimens that are highly suitable for comparison and that contain the molecular patterns as they were in the human body. INDIVUMED’s laboratory services can be utilized to pursue manifold molecular analyses of such biospecimens on the DNA, RNA and protein level.