Personalized Oncology – Why Tissue Is the Issue When Characterizing Tumor Expression Profiles

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Biomarkers, Preclinical,
  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The future of cancer therapy relies on a personalized oncology approach by understanding individual variances and making therapy decisions accordingly. In the past 10 years, clinical researchers have primarily searched for drug targets using DNA sequencing to identify therapy relevant mutations. However, it has become clear that it is impossible to efficiently personalize oncology by only focusing on genetic events in cancers. As important as understanding genetic events are, it is much more important to understand phenotypic variations which represent the complexity of the disease and eventually provide specific drug targets.

However, cancer phenotypes are a result of many factors of which most are preserved in tumor tissue, such as cellular interactions, growth factors and signaling pathways, immune-cell composition and activity.

A major challenge for researchers and physicians in personalized oncology is that phenotypic characterization depends on tumor tissue obtained either by surgical removal or a biopsy. Further complicating matters is the fact that cancer cells change expression profiles, such as RNA, protein and phosphoproteins, within minutes of when tissue is removed from the body. Therefore, it is mandatory to establish a clinical workflow (which often does not exist) that assures tissue collection is performed under SOP guidance allowing for cellular and molecular tissue integrity. One example is an identical and rapid processing of tissue already in the surgical suite to reduce ischemia times to as close to zero as possible. Furthermore, a stringent QC process is needed to control the tissue quality and its ability to provide clinically reliable data. Otherwise, numerous biological data points are lost or systematically wrong and it is impossible to successfully personalize oncology for patient care.

This webinar will address the challenges in personalized oncology to obtain clinically reliable data for the understanding of individual cancer. A special focus will be put on the clinical workflow that assures tissue quality and the QC options to qualify tissue for obtaining clinically reliable data.


Dr. Hartmut Juhl, Founder and CEO, Indivumed

Dr. Hartmut Juhl is an entrepreneur, surgical oncologist, and world-renowned researcher dedicated to the science of tissue quality and precision medicine in cancer. From 1987 to 1998 he was trained and worked as a surgical oncologist at University Clinic of Hamburg and Kiel. Focussing on translational cancer research, he became Associate Professor at Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University. In 2001, he founded Indivumed GmbH in Hamburg, Germany. Hartmut Juhl holds an adjunct professorship at the Medical Faculty of Hamburg University, and the Lombardi Cancer Center of Georgetown University, and has served as an advisor to several institutions including the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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Dr. Bernd Gromoll, Surgical Pathologist/Histopathologist, Indivumed

Dr. Bernd Gromoll is a surgical pathologist/histopathologist with more than 25 years of experience in daily, routine pathology. Before joining Indivumed, he worked in different hospitals and private pathological institutes. His primary working experience is in the pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, general surgical pathology, breast pathology, gynecological cytology, and dermatopathology. Bernd studied at the University of Greifswald, has a Medical Approbation, and holds a Dr. med. degree, having completed his dissertation in Clinical Biochemistry.

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Who Should Attend?

This webinar will be relevant to those within the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries, with relevant job titles including heads of:

  • R&D
  • Preclinical
  • Clinical
  • Digital Health

What You Will Learn

Join this webinar to learn:

  • Why personalized oncology needs a phenotypic characterization of tumors
  • How tissue preserves all biological data of an individual disease
  • Why deciphering tissue phenotypes requires exclusion of preanalytical variables
  • Why a stringent clinical workflow needs to be established to obtain reliable tissue
  • What histopathology and molecular QC criteria exist to control the tissue quality in personalized oncology

Xtalks Partner


Indivumed is a physician-led, integrated global oncology company for personalized medicine with the world’s premier high-content tumor database and highest-quality biobank. Our range of diverse services and products is tailored to customers’ needs in translational and clinical research and molecular diagnostics. And our reputation for excellence is built on our standard operating procedures for biospecimen collection: “Indivumed Standard.”

With approximately 200 employees across Europe, North America, and Asia, we are an internationally minded, future-oriented company with an ambitious growth strategy, which includes the development of a global cancer database solution based on high-throughput molecular data.

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