The Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) works with RHLCCC investigators to facilitate translation of new oncology therapeutic agents to the clinic. DTC provides a range of services that include in vitro tumor cell line assays such as the NCI60 panel, proliferation, apoptosis, cytotoxicity, migration and invasion assays. Animal studies run by DTC include a variety of subcutaneous and orthotopic models of tumor growth and metastasis that can be used to study mechanism and evaluate new drug candidates, exploratory pharmacokinetics (in collaboration with the RHLCCC funded Clinical Pharmacology Core), and exploratory toxicology including histopathological evaluation. In addition, DTC assist investigators with drug formulation and initial assessments of drug stability. DTC staff are proficient using all routes of administration including PO by gavage, IV, IP, and SC and in small animal surgery, which allows for implantation of osmotic minipumps for continuous infusion. To date, DTC has collaborated with a broad spectrum of different investigators including clinicians looking to evaluate new drugs or combinations before moving these into the clinic and basic science researchers such as chemists or individuals who lack tumor biology or animal model expertise. DTC has also collaborated with the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery (CMIDD) to carry out initial in vitro evaluation for a number of early discovery projects. DTC also advises on study design and provides consulting and training to faculty and students. DTC has been able to accelerate implementation of studies by working with the lACUC to set up and manage a number of blanket proposals under which it can run most of these studies that it engages in simply by filing a one page study-specific addendum describing the cell line used, if applicable, and the drug to be studied. DTG routinely adds fellows and students to these protocols in order to facilitate hands-on training. DTC currently has one full time and one part time FTE in addition to the director but is in the process of hiring two additional research associates to meet the growing demand for its services. DTC currently occupies bench and office space in Silverman Hall West it carries out all of its animal work in the vivarium that is located in Pancoe Hall, which adjoins Silverman Hall. In addition, DTC carries out a number of studies in collaboration with the Molecular and Translational Imaging Core (MTIC). DTC routinely labels most of its cell lines using Luc2 and dTomato (bioluminescence and fluorescence, respectively), which allows real time monitoring of orthotopic tumor growth and metastasis using the IMTIC facilities for this purpose. Finally, in addition to increasing staff to meet the demand for existing models, DTC is collaborating with the pathology core facility (PCF) to develop a novel repository of patient-derived xenografts across a variety of histologies that will only be passaged in vivo.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Northwestern University at Chicago
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