CentraXX at Europe’s Largest University Hospital
The largest university hospital in Europe relies on the CentraXX biobank management solution from KAIROS as part of the merger of its biobanks. At the central and interdisciplinary biomaterial bank of the Charité – Berlin University Hospital (ZeBanC) – DNA, blood, tissue and other sample material taken from the university hospital for therapeutic or diagnostic reasons are processed and stored. The aim is to create an efficient and sustainable infrastructure from which researchers inside and outside the Charité can be supplied with high-quality samples and associated disease-specific data for future studies. ZeBanC is one of five sites funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the National Biobank Initiative. Other biobanks supported by the initiative are located in Aachen, Heidelberg, Kiel and Würzburg.
Promoting personalised medicine with modern biobanks
The goal of ZeBanC is to support medical research and the development of “personalized medicine” that takes the specific molecular biological characteristics of the patient into account when making therapy decisions. The prerequisite for such research projects is an equally extensive and high-quality sample inventory combined with extensive medical data on the respective donors. The standardized operation of a biobank as well as the effective use of the immense associated data volumes require the use of a modern and flexible IT solution. ZeBanC relies on the CentraXX biobank management system from KAIROS to meet these IT challenges.
The SOP Challenge
ZeBanC is faced with the great challenge of consolidating and managing existing sample inventories centrally at the three campuses of the Charité, taking into account all data protection requirements and existing procedural instructions (SOPs). CentraXX has a fully integrated, highly flexible workflow engine that allows the mapping and execution of a wide variety of SOPs and thus offers ideal conditions for controlling the complex workflows at ZeBanC.
“The rollout of a central biobank presupposes that different locations operating under heterogeneous boundary conditions can be integrated smoothly. Flexibility and functionality of the workflow engine in CentraXX were decisive factors for us to use the Kairos system. This enables us to map SOPs for all connected partners,” explains Prof. Dr. Michael Hummel, head of ZeBanC, and Prof. Dr. Peter Hufnagl, head of ZeBanC IT.
The Data Protection Challenge
In order to be allowed to receive data at all, the high demands of data protection must be met. Pseudonymization and anonymization of sensitive data are a central issue here. ZeBanC is a member of the Technology and Method Platform for Networked Medical Research (TMF e.V.), which has already made significant contributions to the topic of data protection in biobank operations. KAIROS has taken the recommendations of TMF e.V. into account from the outset in the development of CentraXX, thus creating an essential prerequisite for positive data protection votes. In addition to data protection, biobank management software must take particular account of data security aspects. “For the requirements of ZeBanC, it is absolutely necessary that the system solution used is web-based and at the same time protected from external attacks and disruptions. The concept implemented in CentraXX convinced us right from the start,” explains Prof. Dr. Hufnagl, head of the IT subdivision at ZeBanC.
“We are delighted to be able to continue our many years of cooperation with the Charité with this project. The expected sample volume and the possibility of combining and processing high-quality samples with extensive context data for research purposes represent an ideal platform for proving the performance of CentraXX in all its facets. Being able to support researchers in their pioneering work with our system solution is exciting and makes us proud,” explains Martin Zünkeler, founder of KAIROS.