After receiving prior Developmental Funds during the project period as a Developing Core, the Circulating Tumor Cell Core is presented in this application as an Established Shared Resource. The overarching goal of this Core, which is fully managed by USC Norris, is to assemble a first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art, multiplatform facility for the capture and analysis of peripheral blood circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and to make leading-edge technology and expertise available to USC Norris members. The Core is led by Amir Goldkorn, MD, a genitourinary oncologist whose laboratory research focuses on developing the therapeutic and biomarker potential of circulating tumor cells, telomerase, and cancer stem cells. Dr. Goldkorn is PI of two NCI R01-funded translational laboratory studies of CTCs in Phase III multi-center cancer trials, as well as several other peer-reviewed grants for CTC analysis. Dr. Goldkorn?s team developed a novel microfilter technology for the capture of live CTCs from blood, and his laboratory has been developing and implementing several other CTC platforms. Under his leadership, the Core employs the leading CTC technologies to analyze samples from multiple clinical trials in a centralized facility. Such an approach allows for expert faculty and technical expertise and a reliable and consistent pathway for generating large-scale, reproducible CTC data. This new Shared Resource?s technical versatility and available clinical material offer unprecedented scientific opportunities for discovery and validation of new clinical biomarkers, biologic pathways and targets, as well as for optimization of novel platforms for CTC capture and analysis. Transitioning the facility from a Developing Core to an established Shared Resource will make CTC services more accessible to the cancer research community and further cement the growing role of CTC analysis in precision cancer care. Specifically, CTCs have emerged as valuable prognostic and predictive cancer biomarkers, providing a non-invasive ?window? into disease biology and progression that can be sampled repeatedly over time from a simple blood draw. Thus, CTC characterization holds the promise of enabling real-time molecular phenotyping of individual cancer patients? tumors at diagnosis and throughout treatment, advancing precision medicine in this important and vast patient group. The Core is therefore fully aligned with the mission and Strategic Plan of USC Norris.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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University of Southern California
Los Angeles
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