Pre-Clinical Evaluation Core. The Center for Pre-Clinical Cancer Research (Cancer COBRE) aims to identify clinically relevant mechanisms of human cancer using models that closely reflect the disease state in the context of the tumor microenvironment to reveal insights into tumorigenesis and thus drive novel therapeutic discovery. Promising Junior Investigators (PJIs) address devastating and/or chronic human diseases that exhibit poor outcomes in patients and for which there are unmet therapeutic needs. The four PJI projects feature osteosarcoma, breast cancer, liver cancer, and prostate cancer as diseases that would benefit from pre-clinical models that are more predictive of mechanistic efficacy in humans. The PJI projects will use specialized in vivo mouse models and/or in vitro 3D tumor spheroids to identify or validate relevant mechanisms of tumorigenesis or for evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies. The Center will promote a unified and coordinated approach by establishing a new specialized core facility, Pre-Clinical Evaluation Core (PCEC), to provide scientific expertise and technical support for the pre-clinical evaluation of the PJI projects. Human and animal diseases are a major focus at the LSU SVM and on the LSU campus. The unique PCEC will provide a centralized approach that will support exploratory, as well as translational assessment of cancer disease mechanisms and therapeutic strategies in humans. To accomplish this approach, advanced 3D cancer cell culture systems (spheroids) will provide critical translational information. The Center has three Aims:
Aim 1. To centralize management and coordination of pre-clinical evaluation of tumorigenesis diseases mechanisms and translational therapeutic approaches.
Aim 2. To provide the COBRE PJIs and other biomedical investigators with resources for development and analysis of advanced preclinical cancer models, including 3D bioprinting and cell culture training, instrumentation, technical support, and consultation.
Aim 3. To educate faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students regarding pre-clinical evaluation using state-of-the-art in vitro 3D cell cultures to complement in vivo models.