PATH cooperations

Since 2008, PATH has supported more than 20 scientific projects, providing samples (tissue and/or serum) as well as the corresponding pseudonymized data. Some of these projects exclusively use datasets provided by PATH Biobank. Below, we present recent research projects and the scientific partners who implemented them. Former projects are listed as well.

A list of publications, lectures, poster presentations and additional scientific output having been developed using PATH Biobank’s samples, can be downloaded here: research projects - publications.


Scientific partner: Prof. Edgar Dahl, Dr. Vera Kloten, Jolein Mijnes – Institut für Pathologie, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen

In February 2016, serum samples were provided to the working group in Aachen. Supported by the foundation “Deutsche Krebshilfe” (German Cancer Aid), the project aims to identify special, freely circulating DNA in blood serum samples. This DNA is associated with breast cancer and can be used for early diagnosis. The original title of the project is „Identification of new biomarkers for early detection in breast cancer analysing freely circulating DNA in blood serum”. (Identifizierung von neuen Biomarkern zur Früherkennung von Brustkrebs anhand der Analyse frei zirkulierender DNA im Blutserum).

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Scientific partner: Prof. Bernd Bodenmiller, Johanna Wagner – Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, Universität Zürich

The project of Prof. Bodenmiller is called „Analysing human breast tumour heterogeneity and macrophage infiltrates and their relevance for patient outcomes by mass cytometry“. This analysis uses a new technique called mass cytometry that was co-developed by Prof. Bodenmiller himself as postdoc at the University of Stanford. The technique has some similarities to flow cytometry, using antibodies to mark single cells before analysis. Up to 100 “characteristics” (so called biomarkers) of a single cell can be simultaneously analysed, making this technique unique. Metal isotopes linked to the antibodies instead of dyes make it possible. The aim is to classify all cells of a tumour, tumour cells as well as normal cells that are involved in tumour growth. In the long term, this is the only way to find new therapies that are effective against all forms of breast cancer.

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Scientific partner: PD Dr. Annika Waldmann – Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein Campus Lübeck

After a joint questionnaire had been developed, more than 300 PATH sample donors were surveyed in May and June 2016. Data regarding their quality of life and fear of progression were collected. Further questions addressed the breast cancer patients’ point of view on new drugs and clinical endpoints routinely used in study protocols. The results obtained from statistical analysis and discussion will be published in a scientific journal in cooperation with partners of the PATH breast cancer centres.

Former Projects

  • UKSH Campus Lübeck, Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie, PD Dr. Annika Waldmann (pseudonymous data), 2013
  • DKFZ Heidelberg, Abteilung Molekulare Genetik, Prof. Peter Lichter, Dr. Verena Thewes (tissue samples), 2012 – 2016
  • UK RWTH Aachen, Institut für Pathologie, Prof. Edgar Dahl, Dr. Stefan Garczyk (serum samples), 2012
  • UKSH Campus Lübeck, Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie, PD Dr. Annika Waldmann, Dr. Eva-Maria Fick (pseudonymous data), 2012
  • Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Dr. Marion Rudolph, (tissue and serum samples), 2012 – 2016

Projects before 2012

  • LMU Department Pharmazie, 2011
  • UK Bonn, Institut für Pathologie, 2011
  • UK RWTH Aachen, Institut für Pathologie, 2010-2012
  • UK Bonn, Institut für Pathologie, 2008
  • Agendia Inc., Amsterdam, 2008