As part of the BMBF’s KMU Innovation Contest, Kairos, together with its partners Charité and VMScope, was able to win the Biobanking 3.0 project prize in 2013. Biomaterial collections are now part of everyday life at most medical institutions. With the expansion of patient-oriented research and the growing use of molecular and genetic factors in aetiology, the demand for available, reliable and well-characterised biosamples that can be used for research and studies as well as for diagnostics and therapy is growing significantly. Due to the enormously high sample requirement and documentation effort, there is a growing demand for IT solutions that are tailored to requirements and thus suitable for routine use, above all in order to be able to record, classify and evaluate these biosamples comprehensively and specifically.
However, the documentation of samples often remains a mere snapshot and only represents a limited amount of information at the time of sampling. Due to the lack of interfaces to the clinical documentation, a subsequent, further detailing of the data or a further material characterization usually does not take place. Should sample data also be associated with progression data, the question often arises as to their evaluability, e.g. with regard to a therapy-accompanying monitoring of the development of selected sample characteristics.
Completely unsolved is the integration of the image data underlying the findings as an integral part of the at least potentially available data pool. For example, important information in the histological images is not recorded by information technology or stored according to need. For the execution of scientific studies, however, the selection of suitable archive samples is necessary. Histological criteria can usually only be met by examining the corresponding glass sections. The inclusion of virtual sections and the corresponding quantitative data make the time-consuming and costly subsequent microscopy of the glass slides stored in archives superfluous and allow the linking of genetic and morphological attributes with sample properties. Especially against the background of the high-throughput procedures in modern biobanking, this digitisation and embedding in biobanking is essential.
The joint project BIOBANKING 3.0 with the partners Charité, VMScope and KAIROS starts exactly at this point. The aim is to develop a software system for modern biobanking that meets the dynamics of new research projects and complex diagnostic and therapeutic questions. The project focuses on tumour diseases. Yet the system solution developed has considerable multiplication potential for other applications due to the fundamentally technological approach chosen. One of the tasks here is to create the properties of genes, proteins or transcripts found during the process as attributes in such a way that they can support the decision-making process for or against a possible therapy. Data from cell culture experiments or animal models, which can later be used for decision making in clinical trials, are also integrated.
In this way, an innovative technical system is finally developed that supports the user for the first time in fact-based decision making. Due to the amount of data to be accounted for, this decision is currently made manually by medical personnel only, and is therefore not fully comprehensible and requires an justifiable amount of time. This integrative solution minimizes the time required for fact-based therapy identification and makes it suitable for practical and routine use.