Asklepios Biobank for Lung Diseases
How tissue samples from lung tumor patients advance research
The aim of biobanks is to collect, store and make available high-quality samples of tissue, blood and other body fluids for scientific research.
The German Center for Lung Research (DZL) has several biobanks that focus on specific diseases. At the DZL site in Munich (Comprehensive Pneumology Center Munich), the Asklepios biobank in Gauting focuses on lung tumors and non-malignant diseases of the lungs.
Since 2008, samples of lung tissue, mostly tumor tissue and the surrounding normal lung tissue have been freshly frozen in liquid nitrogen and archived there. In addition, there are blood samples from tumor patients and patients with other lung diseases. Since then, around 4,000 patients have provided the biobank with tissue or blood taken during surgery or for diagnostic purposes. This is what is known as residual tissue, which remains after completion of all diagnostic procedures.
All new patients admitted to the Asklepios Clinic are informed about the biobank and asked to provide their biosamples. Although lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, relatively little tissue is available for research.
One reason: many lung cancer patients are no longer treated surgically, but undergo chemotherapy immediately. Only in relatively early stages can the affected lung lobe be surgically removed with the tumor.
Scientists can use this material for medical research. Each withdrawal request is reviewed by an ethics committee. The Ethics Committee has confirmed that the Asklepios Biobank for Lung Diseases is ethically and legally acceptable.
The DZL has also established a centrally organized biobanking platform, in which scientists from all DZL sites work together. External researchers shall also have access to biomaterials. The goal: optimal conditions for the research and development of new therapies for lung diseases.