Priority Research Papers:

Surgical procedures and postsurgical tissue processing significantly affect expression of genes and EGFR-pathway proteins in colorectal cancer tissue

Kerstin A. David, Florian T. Unger, Philipp Uhlig, Hartmut Juhl _, Helen M. Moore, Carolyn Compton, Björn Nashan, Arnulf Dörner, Andreas de Weerth and Carsten Zornig

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:11017-11028. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2669

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Kerstin A. David1, Florian T. Unger1, Philipp Uhlig1, Hartmut Juhl1, Helen M. Moore2, Carolyn Compton3, Björn Nashan4, Arnulf Dörner5, Andreas de Weerth5 and Carsten Zornig6

1 Indivumed GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

2 Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

3 Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

4 Clinic for Hepatobiliary Surgery and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

5 Clinic for General and Visceral Surgery and Clinic for Gastroenterology, Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

6 Surgical Clinic, Israelitisches Krankenhaus in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany


Hartmut Juhl, email:

Keywords: Biospecimen, predictive biomarker, drug development, tissue quality, EGFR pathway, phosphoproteins

Received: July 29, 2014 Accepted: November 03, 2014 Published: November 03, 2014


An understanding of tissue data variability in relation to processing techniques during and postsurgery would be desirable when testing surgical specimens for clinical diagnostics, drug development, or identification of predictive biomarkers.

Specimens of normal and colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues removed during colon and liver resection surgery were obtained at the beginning of surgery and postsurgically, tissue was fixed at 10, 20, and 45 minutes. Specimens were analyzed from 50 patients with primary CRC and 43 with intrahepatic metastasis of CRC using a whole genome gene expression array. Additionally, we focused on the epidermal growth factor receptor pathway and quantified proteins and their phosphorylation status in relation to tissue processing timepoints.

Gene and protein expression data obtained from colorectal and liver specimens were influenced by tissue handling during surgery and by postsurgical processing time. To obtain reliable expression data, tissue processing for research and diagnostic purposes needs to be highly standardized.

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