(July 8, 2020) WEBINAR: Reproducibility in Cellular Cancer Research: Providing Straightforward Solutions to a Sizeable Dilemma

There have been a number of published reports recently suggesting a substantial amount of cancer related studies published in high-impact scientific journals could not be reproduced outside of their originator laboratories. These discoveries are remarkably problematic as many of the drugs screened are being developed past the preclinical stage, into human testing and ultimately FDA approval. Further, many individual labs are also having difficulties repeating cellular findings in cancer biology from one day to the next highlighting the need to improve study designs for preclinical research into metastasis and the targeting of cancer cells.

In this webinar, we focused a spotlight on two key areas where researchers performing in vitro cancer, or other cell-based research, may want to improve reproducibility, namely, microenvironments and automation. By utilizing tools available in these two key areas, researchers can expect higher accuracy in cellular research and improved outcomes in latter translational studies.

The first half of the talk delved into microenvironments and how monitoring and regulating these conditions around cells can lead to more predictable outcomes. For those working in standard incubators, we will discuss various ways to keep the environments that cells “see” the same over an entire study. We will also discussed introducing oxygen into in vitro research to better resemble the in vivo circumstance. By controlling for microenvironments, researchers should see less variability and better outcomes when performing translational research.

The second half of the webinar focused on automation and how removing the “human variable” can lead to more consistent outcomes. Here, we looked at ways in which research can become more hands off yet more productive with a higher accuracy of obtained results. We focused the talk to a few ways’ researchers can analyze cells and/or colonies in a more controlled and automated fashion.

Topics discussed in this webinar included:

  • The problem with in vitro reproducibility in cancer research today
  • Basic recommendations all researchers can perform to ensure their cellular research is reproducible
    • Standard laboratory practices and procedures to ensure reproducibility
  • Delving into microenvironments and how they play a large role in reproducibility in vitro
  • Systems to avoid shocking cells with changing microenvironments
  • Oxygens role in cancer research and the options available to researchers to mimic the in vivo state
  • How automation of research is able to improve accuracy and productivity in any cellular lab
    • Automated cell and colony counting platforms remove the “human variable”
    • Live cell imaging automates many standard assays and removes the constant need to evaluate cells

This webinar left researchers with a better understanding of how they can augment protocols or entire studies to increase reproducibility in their labs. On top of this, those who watched the webinar came away with some simple ways to both increase productivity and accuracy of results in future studies.

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About the Speaker (s)

Justin Croft, MSc

Justin Croft MSc – Justin studied behaviour and neuro-biology at The University of Western Ontario. His experience is wide ranging as he has an extensive background in genetics, microbiology, behaviour and neurology. Currently, Justin is the lead application specialist of the molecular division at Scintica Instrumentation, specializing in the fields of cancer, stem cells, microscopy and hypoxia.