The Oral Cancer Center will have a Tissue Procurement and Histopathology Core to ensure efficient use of oral tissue specimens and collection of data for use in the Center's research projects. Tissue specimens will be collected from oral cancer patients or from non-cancer patients having uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or tonsillectomy. The Core will be responsible for collection from the operating room or clinic, initial processing according to specific research needs, and distribution of specimens as well as histopathology, immunohistology and interpretation. Additionally, this Core will be a link between the Clinical Core and the individual investigators who need tissues and blood specimens. Research specimens will be provided to the individual research laboratories, as specified by individual research protocols, and could include the following forms: snap-frozen or fresh tissue blocks, cells (tumor or tumor infiltrating lymphocytes) dissociated from tissues, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, DNA or RNA extracted from microdissected tissue or from blood, and unstained paraffin embedded or frozen tissue sections for immunohistochemical analysis. The Core will bank any samples that are not used immediately by the Center investigators for use in future oral cancer research projects. Histopathologic analysis by the Core Pathologist will confirm the presence of the expected target tissue in the research specimen, as well as provide tumor grade and biomarker data. Immunohistology will be used to detect cellular proteins that are associated with malignant transformation. The Core will triage samples and facilitate the sharing of specimens by the research laboratories according to priority scheme decided upon the Steering Committee. Specimen processing and distribution, as well as histopathologic analysis data will be maintained in a computerized database, which will be linked to the clinical and epidemiologic database in the Center's centralized database for use by all Oral Cancer Center research projects.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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University of Pittsburgh
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