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Last Updated: 06/04/15

Research Studies on the Effects of Intraoperative Ischemia time on Gene and Protein Expression Patterns in Liver and Colon Tissue

Subcontractor: Indivumed GmbH
Principal Investigator: Hartmut Juhl, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Juhl and his team investigated the impact of surgical procedure and postsurgical processing on gene expression and proteins that are relevant to cancer therapy in normal colon and corresponding colon cancer tissue. The ultimate goal was to define genes and proteins, which are stable and are uncritical for research and diagnostic purposes, and secondly to identify potential markers that can serve as quality markers for tissue testing. Specimens of normal and colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues were obtained during colon and liver resection surgery and were obtained at the beginning of surgery. Post surgery, tissue was fixed at 10, 20, and 45 minutes. The specimens were analyzed from 50 patients with primary CRC and 43 with intrahepatic metastasis of CRC using a whole genome gene expression array. Additionally, the investigators focused on the epidermal growth factor receptor pathway and quantified proteins and their phosphorylation status in relation to tissue processing time points. Dr. Juhl and his team found that gene and protein expression data that is obtained from post-resection tissues is highly influenced by the surgical procedures and post-surgical processing time. The team concluded that the phosphorylation status of major cancer regulatory proteins is reliable only if tissues were collected fast and under well controlled conditions. The determination of stable and variable genes and (phospho-) proteins can be used as important information for future colon cancer research but also clinical diagnostics in personalized medicine approaches.

David et al., Surgical procedures and postsurgical tissue processing significantly affect expression of genes and EGFR-pathway proteins in colorectal cancer tissue, Oncotarget, 5(22), 2014; 11017-28