In June 2009, the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) opened its new state-of-the-art Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building (HDFCRB) located at the developing Mission Bay campus. The building currently houses over 30 PIs, undertaking basic, pre-clinical and translational cancer research. There is potential for a further 50% expansion by completion of an additional floor of laboratory and office space. The building has a modern vivarium, housing small animals within a barrier facility. The facility has the potential to house 13, 000 animal cages, each holding up to 5 adult mice per cage. This extra capacity will certainly be required by 2014, when the new 289 bed UCSF children's women's, and cancer hospital opens at the Mission Bay site, bringing with it the Mt. Zion clinical research teams. The opening of the HDFCRB has bought together a large number of cancer research scientists under one roof. However, the opening represents an expansion of cancer research at UCSF rather than complete consolidation. The size of the HDFCCC, with over 300 PIs distributed between three main sites within the city of San Francsico, presents a challenge in supplying the necessary infrastructure at each site, specifically of high end instruments to support basic, preclinical and translational research. Here we propose the acquisition of a powerful optical and fluorescence in vivo imaging system, the IVIS Spectrum manufactured by Caliper Life Sciences. This will be installed within the HDFCRB barrier facility, managed and operated by the HDFCCC Preclinical Therapeutics Core (PTC), for use in tracking the growth and spread of labeled tumors and cells within live animals. This technology is an essential component of any cancer research enterprise, using highly sophisticated hardware and software to allow the imaging of multiple fluorophores within a single animal over days, weeks or months. The various applications proposed herein include basic studies on cell lineage and cell fate analysis in developing and diseased tissues, investigation of cells and pathways of metastasis, investigation of specific oncogenic signal pathways in vivo, preclinical investigation of novel drugs targeted to specific molecular pathways for cancer therapy, optimization of imaging approaches and generation of novel cancer biomarkers that could be rapidly translated into clinical oncology practice.
This proposal requests funds to purchase a powerful in vivo imaging system, the IVIS Spectrum manufactured by Caliper Life Sciences, which allows cancer researchers to track the growth and spread of tumors cells within live animals over periods of days, weeks or months. Cancer research scientists can therefore study basic mechanisms of tumor biology, as well as test novel therapeutics in mouse models of cancer, and develop new biomarkers of disease progression and responses to therapy.