The overall goal of the Small Animal Radiation Core (SARC) is to provide ?turn-key? animal housing and photon and proton radiation (including image-guided radiation) to tumors implanted into syngeneic mice as well as spontaneous, autocthonous tumors. Moreover, it will furnish accurate dosimetry and quality control necessary for successful completion of the studies proposed in Projects 2 and 3. A key feature of this Core is the centralization and standardization of services intended to minimize inter-animal variability in terms of immune system regulation and tumor response to radiation. We have devised a streamlined process for movement of animals from ordering (C57/Bl6) or procuring them from breeding (KPC pancreatic tumor model) to tumor radiation and back to housing until the animals are euthanized and tumors and tissues are harvested. At the center of this Core is a dedicated animal holding facility and a brand new renovated animal treatment room which will house and already available and established Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (SARRP) instrument from X-Strahl, Inc as well as dedicated proton Beam available in the Smilow Center for Translational Research (SCTR). The three main aims of this core are:
Aim 1 : To establish a dedicated housing suite with controlled environmental parameters.
Aim 2 : To deliver both Photon and Proton-based irradiation to mouse tumors in a conformal manner using the Small Animal Radiaiton Platform (SARRP) and available Proton Beam thereby avoiding radiation of normal tissues as much as possible.
Aim 3 : To develop precise dosimetry and quality-control analysis systems to ensure the prescribed dose was delivered to the target. The two co-Directors, Drs. Koumenis and Solberg, bring considerable expertise in small animal radiation as well as managing radiation facilities both at Penn and prior Institutions. Successful implementation of these services will provide the Project Leaders seamless and uniform treatment modalities and has the potential to serve as a model facility for other similar research efforts world-wide.

Public Health Relevance

(Core B) The Small Animal Radiation Core (SARC) will provide state-of-the-art services to Projects 2 and 3 of this Program Project. It will provide dedicated housing as well as precision photon and proton radiation of tumors implanted or grown spontaneously in animal models, and perform imaging-guided radiation whenever needed. Quality-control services including treatment planning, dosimetry and dose verification will be provided by experienced Physcis personnel. We propose that through these services, this Core will minimize extraneous parameters which can impact on the immune system-tumor interaction and thereby increase the reliability and reproducibility of the results in the proposed studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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University of Pennsylvania
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