New D3b Research Projects – Spring 2019

Pediatric brain tumor miRNA profiling for the cohort of Children’s Brain Tumor Network specimens

D³b’s The Molecular Diagnostics Research Unit (MDRU) will generate the data and lead this new project with the Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN). The team previously submitted a proposal to CBTN to obtain the access to the material from the PBTA cohort. The project will be run in collaboration from the HTG Molecular Diagnostics. The HTG company is providing over 220 miRNA free of charge analysis panel sets in support to Kids First data generation effort. The data will be generated onsite by our MRDU team and will be deposited into the Kids First database/portal.

 In addition the project has received a $5k CBTN Advisory Council Research Award to support this effort.


Patient-Derived Xenograft (PDX) & Cell Line Development

D³b’s Pre-Clinical Laboratory Research Unit (PCLRU) has seen an acceleration in the patients derived xenograft (PDX) and cell lines development in recent months. In their daily pipeline, each tumor tissue received on laboratory site is processed for PDX and cell line generation efforts. In many cases the team manages to bank excess of primary cells which can be utilize in the future tumor analysis as well as in generation of additional models for preclinical explorations. 

Our center currently offers over 60 pediatric brain tumor cell lines and 4 PDXs (three developed within last few months) while more in progress.  The team is constantly working on improvements to our generation pipeline aiming to steady increase our efficiency in generation of these precious tools for the preclinical research.


Liquid Biopsy Clinical Research Protocol

The new liquid biopsy clinical research protocol designed and sponsored by D³b has received the approval from CHOP’s Internal Review Board (IRB) and BioRC approval committee. Biofluids Biorepository Collection Protocol, led by D³b’s Mateusz Koptyra, PhD and Jessica Foster MD, in collaboration with Susan McFarland, MD, is focused on the collection of body fluids (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, and urine) from brain tumor patients at CHOP along their therapy and during follow-up visits. The specimen collection will support the exploratory research in the field of non-invasive tumor profiling. Specifically, using genomic analysis methods, our researchers will attempt to obtain any tumor molecular information circulating in the body fluids and explore its utility along the clinical timeline. The generated data will support non-invasive diagnostic research. Specifically, the hope is that results may help to generate the diagnostic test for monitoring of the tumor progression, response to therapy, and/or early relapse detection for children with brain tumors.