Implementation of a Multicenter Biobanking Collaboration for Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Biomarker Discovery Based on Fresh Frozen Pretreatment Tumor Tissue Biopsies

S. Bins, G.A. Cirkel, C.G.M. drs. Gadellaa-van Hooijdonk, Fleur Weeber, I.J. Nijman, A.H. Bruggink, P.J. van Diest, M.M. van den Heuvel, R.J. de Knegt, M.J. Koudijs, E. van Werkhoven, R.H. Mathijssen, E Cuppen, S. Sleijfer, J.H.M. Schellens, E.E. Voest, M.H. Langenberg, M.J. de Jonge, Neeltje Steeghs, M.P. Lolkema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The discovery of novel biomarkers that predict treatment response in advanced cancer patients requires acquisition of high-quality tumor samples. As cancer evolves over time, tissue is ideally obtained before the start of each treatment. Preferably, samples are freshly frozen to allow analysis by next-generation DNA/RNA sequencing (NGS) but also for making other emerging systematic techniques such as proteomics and metabolomics possible. Here, we describe the first 469 image-guided biopsies collected in a large collaboration in The Netherlands (Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment) and show the utility of these specimens for NGS analysis.
Image-guided tumor biopsies were performed in advanced cancer patients. Samples were fresh frozen, vital tumor cellularity was estimated, and DNA was isolated after macrodissection of tumor-rich areas. Safety of the image-guided biopsy procedures was assessed by reporting of serious adverse events within 14 days after the biopsy procedure.
Biopsy procedures were generally well tolerated. Major complications occurred in 2.1%, most frequently consisting of pain. In 7.3% of the percutaneous lung biopsies, pneumothorax requiring drainage occurred. The majority of samples (81%) contained a vital tumor percentage of at least 30%, from which at least 500 ng DNA could be isolated in 91%. Given our preset criteria, 74% of samples were of sufficient quality for biomarker discovery. The NGS results in this cohort were in line with those in other groups.
Image-guided biopsy procedures for biomarker discovery to enable personalized cancer treatment are safe and feasible and yield a highly valuable biobank. The Oncologist 2017;22:33-40Implications for Practice: This study shows that it is safe to perform image-guided biopsy procedures to obtain fresh frozen tumor samples and that it is feasible to use these biopsies for biomarker discovery purposes in a Dutch multicenter collaboration. From the majority of the samples, sufficient DNA could be yielded to perform next-generation sequencing. These results indicate that the way is paved for consortia to prospectively collect fresh frozen tumor tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Feasibility and safety
  • Image‐guided biopsy procedures
  • Next‐generation sequencing
  • Advanced cancer patients
  • Personalized cancer treatment
  • Precision oncology


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