Gerda Egger is one of the key researchers of the LBI:AD leading the program line focusing on the development of molecular biomarkers for non-invasive diagnostics and on the establishment of preclinical test systems:
We aim to develop predictive and prognostic biomarkers for advanced stage prostate and colorectal cancer allowing for a dynamic measure of therapy response and monitoring in patients. In a first step we will define molecular targets that are suitable for molecular PET/SPECT imaging and for testing in liquid biopsies of patients. Such targets will include therapy relevant mutations, gene expression patterns and epigenetic alterations.
Additionally, we will develop and characterise preclinical models based on organoid cultures and PDX mouse models of hormone refractory PCa and metastatic CRC (Fig.1). These models will be used
(I) for preclinical evaluation of established markers,
(II) to investigate important questions related to tumor biology (e.g tumor heterogeneity, influence of the tumor microenvironment), and
(III) for drug screens to identify novel therapeutic targets and/ or predictive markers.
Organoid-like cultures of colon and prostate carcinoma cells isolated from primary tumor tissues
(images kindly provided by Helmut Dolznig)