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The Interdisciplinary Laboratory – Part 4/4

The future of the RCCL Collection

The aim is to systematically supplement the RCCL Collection with clinically relevant models. In addition, most of the models in the RCCL Collection have so far been poorly characterised. Therefore, an important next step in the further development of the RCCL Collection is the systematic analysis of the RCCL Collection cell lines using so-called ‘omics’ methods in order to select the most suitable cell lines for the laboratory’s own research and at the same time to be able to provide cooperation partners with customised models. These omics methods include, for example, genomics (investigation of cellular mutation profiles), proteomics (investigation of cellular protein profiles), transcriptomics (investigation of which cellular genes are switched on) and metabolomics (investigation of cellular metabolic processes).

The next step is to identify potential biomarkers for individualised therapy guidance and new therapeutic targets through so-called functional studies. In such studies, certain genes are specifically switched on or off (e.g. using the CRISPR/Cas method) in order to precisely define their function in the context of resistance.

Resistance-associated mutations can also serve as potential targets for immunotherapies. Mutations that arise during the development of resistance can alter proteins in cancer cells in such a way that they can be recognised by the immune system so that the immune system can be specifically activated against these cancer cells.

Another aspect is research into methods that are specifically required for the operation of the RCCL collection. The identity of cancer cell lines must be checked regularly in order to avoid mix-ups. However, the methods available are not yet suitable for reliably differentiating between sublines of the same original cell line. Further method development is required in this area.


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