LECR, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research

The Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research (LECR) is part of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG), a joint initiative to promote cancer research between Ghent University, Ghent University Hospital and VIB (a life sciences research institute based in Flanders).

The LECR dedicates its resources to understand the communicative determinants between cancer cells and their host tissue. Mapping tumour-environment interactions will lead to the identification of disease- or therapy-associated biomarkers and to novel therapeutic targets.

In addition to research, the LECR is also used for training and education: LECR is involved in educational programs at UGent and international study programs, and is an excellent training ground for PhDs and postdocs.


LECR allows external researchers to use the services below. To a lesser extent, the LECR performs these services for external parties.


EV isolation from biological fluids

LECR provides a combination of technologies to isolate and characterize extracellular vesicles (EV) from complex biofluids including, but not limited to, blood, urine and cell culture medium. Methods include size-exclusion chromatography, robot-assisted density-gradient ultracentrifugation, fluorescent and non-fluorescent nanoparticle tracking analysis.



Extracellular vesicle (EV) research needs transparent reporting to facilitate interpretation and replication of experiments. To achieve this, we developed EV-TRACK, a crowdsourcing knowledgebase that centralizes EV biology and methodology with the goal of stimulating authors, reviewers, editors and funders to put experimental guidelines into practice.


Monitoring of cellular activities

LECR supports a broad range of cell-based assays and has expertise with both primary cells and cell lines. Kinetic information using image- or impedance-based technologies (Incucyte® ZOOM or xCELLigence®) can be combined with end-point analysis including metabolic assays, morphologic assessments, secretome analysis.


Animal models

The use of human cancer tissue or cell lines grown as xenografts in immunodeficient mice has been a standard test for evaluating cancer management techniques. LECR is experienced in a wide variety of orthotopic and metastatic tumour models in immunodeficient and immunocompetent hosts. The primary imaging modality is luciferase-based but can be extended to ultrasound, MRI, PET, and CT imaging.



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