Case Studies Biotech

Fully Integrated Data Management at Children’s Cancer Institute Australia

3 min read 01 May 2024

“eLabNext allows me to store and organise my data in a secure and accessible way. It also helps me keep track of the experimental protocols and procedures that I follow.” 

Martin Garibay Velasco, Animal Technician at Children’s Cancer Institute

Children’s Cancer Institute Australia

The Children’s Cancer Institute is a medical research institute in Kensington, Australia, dedicated exclusively to curing childhood cancer. The Institute was established in 1976 by a group of parents of children with cancer and their doctors. It became an independent research laboratory in 1984, allowing the organisation to evolve into a leading international child cancer research institute. Their core mission is to advance research efforts and treatment strategies to improve the lives of children diagnosed with cancer. The Institute is home to a diverse team of professionals, with an employee count of over 350. Among them, around 250 researchers are dedicated to conducting groundbreaking cancer research and working towards fulfilling the long-term needs of patients: Improved treatment outcomes and minimised long-term health complications resulting from cancer therapies.

Goals

Short-term: In the short term, Children’s Cancer Institute aims to advance and apply medical research to cure or prevent cancer in children and adolescents using their new state-of-the-art Minderoo Children’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Long-term: Looking ahead, the Institute aspires to save the lives of all children with cancer and eliminate their suffering.

Challenges 

To improve research operations with centralised, traceable information storage

The Institute needed to enhance research transparency, efficiency, and data security. To accomplish this, they aimed to log experiments, and inventories in a centralised system that can be used and shared by researchers. Without a unified solution for research and record-keeping needs, data traceability would have become more laborious as the Institute grew and expanded.

Solution

eLabNext’s platform offers more secure and fully integrated ELN capabilities

To meet this challenge, the Institute’s Core Services team began assessing several electronic lab notebook (ELN) providers for user-friendliness, customisation capabilities, customer support, integration with existing systems, and data security. The eLabNext digital lab platform stood out from the multiple platforms evaluated due to its cybersecurity features, including ISO 27001 and the integration of inventories with the ELN.

After trialing and testing eLabNext’s software, it was adopted by the Core Services team to manage in-house cell bank and buffer services. Following two years of use by Core Services, the Institute engaged in an institution-wide rollout and implemented a dedicated private cloud, which was deployed to an Australian-based cloud in only a few days. The system is now being rolled out on a team-by-team basis to streamline the transition for researchers by providing individualised support for data migration, system customisation, and comprehensive training.

Results

eLabNext promotes proactive data management and record-keeping

eLabNext’s advanced inventory searches enabled Children’s Cancer Institute to establish a PowerBI dashboard, granting oversight of cell line working stocks. This transformation has helped the Institute to instantly see critical cell bank metrics, ensuring proactive management and strategic decision-making. Additionally, eLabNext significantly improved record keeping and transparency for their in-house buffer service. The Institute also benefits from eLabNext’s Customer Success team, who promptly reply to queries.

eLabNext enables fully traceable operations

Using eLabNext, Children’s Cancer Institute could link multiple information nodes in one electronic experiment and store files in one location. In contrast, additional records had to be maintained previously to ensure all information was accessible. Custom label printing with barcodes has also been standardised, allowing proper identification and tracking of samples, including scanning sample labels for various sample operations (e.g., associating samples with experiments). The Institute can now create detailed inventories and link these samples to their respective experiments, creating complete audit trails.

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