The Biospecimen and Pathology Core (Core B) is crucial for all Penn/Wistar SPORE in Skin Cancer activities. It fully utilizes the infrastructures at the Penn/Wistar and addresses research needs for melanoma patient biospecimens of all the SPORE projects that are not met by current shared facilities at these institutions. Standardized procedures for procurement, processing, storage, quality control, histopathologic evaluation and distribution of samples will ensure optimal utilization and distribution of limited tissue samples according to the guidelines established by the Tissue and Resource Allocation Committee. In addition to collecting, storing and distributing a wide range of biospecimens, the Core maintains a comprehensive tissue database (Labvantage LIMS database) that includes detailed pathologic characteristics and essential clinical data including family history, current therapies of patients, tissue type, amount of stored tissue, distribution log associated with each collected specimen (tissue or blood), and results of molecular (or other analytic) studies generated from these biospecimens. The close relationship with the Biostatistics Core will allow for efficient analysis of the data produced by the different SPORE projects. Leadership for the Core will be shared by a senior dermatopathologist with expertise in melanoma diagnosis and translational research, including histopathologic evaluation, molecular analysis and quality-control procedures as well as a senior pathologist with expertise in tissue collection, database design and bioinformatics. The core interacts extensively with investigators in each project, and shared facilities of the Penn/Wistar Cancer Centers. The services of the Core B enhance the efficient operation of the translational studies by SPORE investigators in a cost-effective manner, and expedite the application of discoveries at the bench to clinical practice, and clinical results to basic research.
The Biospecimen and Pathology Core is a required Core that serves the Penn/Wistar SPORE in Skin Cancer by providing well annotated high quality biospecimens. The Core will function as a hub to procure, process, track, store and distribute well annotated biospecimens including quality controls.