The Translational Pathology Core has been continuously under the leadership of Dr. Sue Ellen Martin since its founding in 1998. This NCI-funded Shared Resource provides a single point of access for Cancer Center members needing tissue procurement and banking services.
The specific aims of the Core are to: 1) procure, bank, process, track, and distribute both fresh/frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) normal and tumor tissue biospecimens necessary for laboratory-based, epidemiological, and hospital-based clinical studies being conducted by USC Norris Cancer Center members; 2) procure, maintain, and track discarded FFPE tumor tissue blocks from local regional hospitals identified through the Cancer Surveillance Program (CSP) for the population-based LA Residual Tissue Repository (RTR), which corresponds directly to the catchment area; 3) ensure that all studies utilizing tissue have appropriate documented IRB approval and that protected health information (PHI) is not released unless there is a signed written Informed Consent; and 4) incorporate innovations in tissue procurement and banking methodology to meet investigator-led research. The Core continues to have three components, or Arms: Adult, Pediatric and Population-Based. Together, these Arms provide an integrated, single stop service. Accomplishments during the project period include: 1) increased usage by Cancer Center members with peerreviewed grants. In the most recent reporting year (FY 2013-2014), 91 Cancer Center members used the Core, of which 53 (58%) had peer-reviewed funding. This is an increase of 140%, from the prior project period; 2) higher chargebacks. User fees account for 27% of the total budget, up from 17% over the project period; and 3) increased collection and distribution of both fresh/frozen and FFPE tissues. This has contributed to significant research advances by Cancer Center members in understanding of the mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis, particularly in gastric, colorectal, urothelial and lung cancers, neuroblastoma and Hodgkin?s lymphoma.
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