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Perspective ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Cell Dev. Biol. | doi: 10.3389/fcell.2019.00246

Cancer sample biobanking at the next level: Combining tissue with living cell repositories to promote precision medicine.

 Hella A. Bolck1*, Chantal Pauli1, Elisabeth Göbel1, Katharina Mühlbauer1, Susanne Dettwiler1,  Holger Moch1 and Peter H. Schraml1
  • 1Department of Pathology and Molecular Pathology, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland

Biorespositories of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) or fresh frozen human tissues from malignant diseases generated as integral part of the diagnostic workup in many pathology departments have been pivotal resources for translational cancer studies. However, such tissue biobanks have traditionally contained only non-viable specimens and thus cannot enable functional assays for the discovery and validation of therapeutic targets or the assessment of drug responses and resistance to treatment.
To overcome these limitations, we have developed a next-generation comprehensive biobanking platform that includes the generation of patient-derived in vitro cell models from colorectal, pancreatic and kidney cancers among others. As such patient-derived cell (PDC) models retain important features of the original human tumors, they have emerged as clinically relevant tools for more dynamic clinical and experimental analyses of cancer. Here, we describe details of the complex processes of acquisition and processing of patient-derived samples, propagation, annotation, characterization and distribution of resulting cell models and emphasize the requirements of quality assurance, organizational considerations and investment into resources. Taken together, we show how clinical tissue collections can be taken to the next level thus promising major new opportunities for understanding and treating cancer in the context of precision medicine.

Keywords: Tissue biobanking, living cell biobanking, patient-derived tumor models, Organoids, personalized medicine

Received: 16 Jul 2019; Accepted: 07 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Bolck, Pauli, Göbel, Mühlbauer, Dettwiler, Moch and Schraml. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Hella A. Bolck, University Hospital Zürich, Department of Pathology and Molecular Pathology, Zurich, Switzerland,