Translational cancer research
In order to profit from new tailored therapies, which give raising hope to be more effective and causing fewer side effects, it becomes a high priority to understand why some patients benefit from some therapies but others don‘t. To achieve such improvements translational research has to be „facilitated“. Appropriate samples should be collected in order to obtain individual tumor profiles, analyzed in specialized laboratories under quality controls and correlated to clinical outcome.
Since more than a decade, the Tumorbank Basel Foundation (Stiftung Tumorbank Basel, STB) is performing translational research thanks to a network of clinicians, oncologists and molecular biologists willing to collaborate for the benefit of the patients and devoting extra time and efforts in this direction. Under quality control various biomarkers of prognostic and predictive values were assessed in the respective sub-cellular fractions on the protein level and more recently on the RNA expression level. Several molecular staging were developed allowing discrimination between low, medium and high risk breast cancer patients. In addition, predictive genes and/or biomarkers were assessed to provide recommendations for the respective tumor therapies. The data and biological samples bank, acquired under ethical and good clinical praxis, represents a good reservoir to perform ongoing and new translational research projects. Moreover, the Tumorbank Basel Foundation possesses profound expertise on “real time” PCR, one of the key molecular biological tools for detecting and deciphering the genetic material of any cancer. Molecular staging at RNA expression levels of breast cancer and other solid tumors, such as prostate, lung and colon, will become an important new approach. The clinical information derived from these new molecular diagnoses will allow to apply the most efficient and cost effective therapies by identifying the therapeutic targets at the RNA level before initiating specific tailored therapies.