Research Group Biobanking and Biomarker

BMB-CCC Signet

Biobank in the Comprehensive Cancer Center Kiel



Medical research is not conceivable without the investigation of biological material. Therefore, there are special institutions and storage locations at the UKSH, known as biobanks, where, for example, blood, urine and tissue samples and also extensive medical data are collected and stored for research purposes. Biobanks are keys to the development of new, improved diagnostic procedures and therapeutic options for serious and sometimes incurable diseases such as cancer. The investigation of so-called biomarkers, molecules or biological features that allow the reliable diagnosis of diseases is often the focus of research projects involving clinical patient samples. At the Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (IET) of the CAU, among other activities, individual tumor cells in blood and tissue samples are analyzed, which may be responsible for the spread of cancer in the body. In addition, genetic markers or soluble factors in body fluids such as blood are also being analyzed.


The detection of tumor cells in the circulation or in the bone marrow of patients who suffer from tumors such as colorectal cancer has been shown to be an independent prognostic factor and can be particularly useful in monitoring the progression of a tumor after its surgical removal for further therapeutic decisions.


For more than 20 years there has been an intensive scientific cooperation between the Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, the Department of General Surgery, Visceral, Thoracic, Trans-plantation and Pediatric Surgery and the Institute of Pathology at the UKSH, Campus Kiel, in the field of tumor diseases of the digestive organs. This has resulted in a platform for SOP (standard operating procedure)-controlled asservation and processing of clinical samples from cancer patients as well as extensive collections of biosamples from biological fluids (blood, bone marrow) and tissue (tumor and peritumoral non-malignant tissue).


Patients in the Surgical Clinic are informed about the material collection by a physician and provide their biosamples to the biobank after written consent. The smooth and team-oriented cooperation of surgeons, personnel in the operation room, laboratory staff, medical and scientific colleagues in the biobanks and in the Institute of Pathology plays a key role in the high standard of sample acquisition.


The guiding idea in the biobank is the quality assurance of the stored samples through the fastest possible transport of the surgical specimens to the biobank laboratory and the Institute of Pathology, histo-pathological assessment and cutting of the tissues by pathologists as well as immediate fixation or cryopreservation of tissue and liquid samples at -80°C or over liquid nitrogen at approx. -160°C.

In recent years, the institutions involved in the biobanking platform have been able to acquire extensive investment funds for the expansion and excellent technical equipment of a sample storage facility for cryopreserved biomaterials at the Institute of Pathology and the IET. Thus a milestone in quality assurance was achieved also in the storage of samples.


The biobank in the Comprehensive Cancer Center Kiel in the Institute for Experimental Cancer Research has been part of the central biobanking network Popgen 2.0 Network (P2N) of the Medical Faculty of the CAU since 2011. P2N and its members were funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research between 2011 and 2016 with approximately 5 million euros as part of the national biobanking initiative. The establishment of this network enabled the establishment of administrative umbrella structures for a central biobank of the Medical Faculty at the UKSH, including rules of procedure, uniform steering and governance structures, forms and regulations for sample submission, uniform database software (CentraXX), the regulation of ethical and legal issues and quality management.



Dr. Christian Röder, PhD Publications

Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
and Popgen 2.0-Network (P2N) of the CAU
Laboratory Address:
UKSH Campus Kiel, House U30, Entrance 1
Michaelisstr. 5
24105 Kiel
T: +49 431 500-30590

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