Core B: Tissue & Specimen

Co-directors: Robert Vessella, Ph.D., Lawrence True, M.D.

The Specimen Core provides part of the infrastructure support for Projects 1 – 5 as well as for future pilot and developmental projects. It has been designed to meet the needs of these projects plus serve as a stand-alone resource for collaborative efforts with other SPOREs. This Core will provide a well-organized and standardized system of specimen collection, storage, distribution and related clinical/research information dissemination that is based on over two decades of experience. There will be consistency and quality assurance in the pathological analysis of tissue specimens. Furthermore, the centralized management of the specimens will facilitate their distribution based upon the priorities defined by a panel of investigators familiar with all of our SPORE research endeavors. The operations of this Core group into 5 components:

  1. Clinical specimen acquisition (i.e. tissues, including those from surgery and the rapid autopsy program, serum, plasma and urine), processing, quality control, storage, distribution and database entry;
  2. A development program to continually improve the quality and efficiency in biospecimen acquisition, processing and storage to increase the fidelity of specimens provided to the SPORE investigators;
  3. Maintain 27 prostate cancer xenograft lines established by the Core team and make specimens available for biological study and/or perform pre-clinical studies for SPORE investigators and collaborators;
  4. Laboratory services, including production of tissue microarrays, interpretation of immunohistology by urologic pathologists, production of specimen derivatives and perform PSA immunoassays for research;
  5. An administrative program to obtain samples from minorities, prioritize the distribution of specimens, ensure patient confidentiality and compliance with IRB requirements, to continually improve quality control measures and to interact with other prostate cancer programs, including SPOREs and P01s.

Specimens from our repository, especially those from our rapid autopsy program (e.g. prostate cancer bone metastases) and our LuCaP series of prostate cancer xenografts have been and will continue to be distributed to other prostate cancer investigators on an international basis.