The Pathology Network Shared Resource (PNSR) provides human specimens and laboratory services for basic and translational research to further the understanding of the pathogenesis of human cancers and facilitate discovery of biomarkers for new precision medicine approaches. The overall mission of the PNSR is to facilitate collection and access to bio-specimens for research conducted at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. The PNSR provides five key service areas: Procurement, Pathology Core Services, Correlative Science Pathology Office, Bio-specimen Bank, and Image Analysis. In the reporting period (2013-2017), the PNSR served a total of 202 Roswell users, of which 131 (88%) were CCSG members.
The Specific Aims of the PNSR are: 1) To consent, collect, and store high quality tumor bio specimens. The PNSR oversees the consenting and collection of tumor specimens under a highly standardized process with IRB approval. This includes both routine surgical collections as well as specialized collections of metastatic disease, fresh tissue, or longitudinal collections in accordance with specific clinical protocols; 2) To provide state-of-the-art tissue analyses platforms. The PNSR provides a robust suite of tissue analysis tools to enable the comprehensive analysis of tissues. Standard histology and immunohistochemistry services are complemented by laser capture microdissection and spectral karyotyping; 3) To provide expertise for study design, grant preparation, and clinical trials. Staff within the PNSR plays an active role in designing biomarker studies and rigorous methods for evaluating data that emerges from the analysis of tissues. These integrated features of the PNSR provide an important platform for grant submissions and facilitate development of correlative studies in the context of clinical trials. There are limited options for bio specimen acquisition with the level of quality and annotation that is provided by the PNSR. Acquiring fresh or frozen tissue from external tissue banks is costly, requires considerable legal work (e.g. MTAs), and reliability can be questionable, our costs for these activities in comparison to external sites provide more affordable service for CCSG members. Furthermore, the convenience of these resources is an added benefit to investigators in terms of saving them time and ease of discussion related to design and interpretation of data. Services within the PNSR are accessible to any researcher that has appropriate IRB approval for the proposed work. The PNSR plans to be at the forefront in all areas of operation to facilitate cutting-edge research that will lead to significant changes in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Specialized procurement is critical for this goal given the importance of understanding metastatic, recurrent, and therapy resistant disease.
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