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Ascites-associated cells are not merely bystander effects, but have a biologically highly relevant in view of their role in the transcoelomic metastatic spread of ovarian cancer. Ascites provides the opportunity to isolate large numbers of primary tumor and immune cells and culture these cells in a medium similar to their pathophysiological environment, i.e., autologous ascites fluid. Ascites-derived cells therefore represent an unique experimental systems to explore ovarian cancer in a clinically relevant experimental system. We have therefore established a biomaterial and databank for ovarian cancer effusion that provides the researchers of OvaRA with primary tumor and immune cells, cell-free ascites and clinical data. This resource is also shared with other researchers as part of collaborative projects provided sufficient material is in available.

We have more than 12,000 frozen samples of fractionated ascites from >300 ovarian cancer patients, complemented by tumor and host cells from omental metastases. The corresponding database contains relevant clinical data, including disease staging, and datasets of transcriptome, proteome,  lipid mass spectrometry, immunophenotyping and ELISA analyses that are accessible by an online systems to all the researchers of OvaRA. Furthermore, solid tumor tissue and FFPE tissue blocks are stored at the Comprehensive Biomaterial Bank Marburg (CBBMR) for all patients and available to the consortium upon request.  

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