University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Lung Cancer SPORE

Core B: Clinical

Joel L. Weissfeld, MD, MPH, Co-Leader
Arjun Pennathur, MD, Co-Leader

The Clinical Core for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Lung Cancer SPORE supports the infrastructure needed to satisfy the clinical research needs of the individual SPORE translational research projects. Fulfillment of SPORE translational research aims requires access to human subjects and associated clinical outcome information and biological materials (blood and tissue). In addition, successful completion of SPORE clinical trials and other interventions requires human research conducted according to exacting standards designed to protect research subjects from research risks.

The Clinical Core provides the expertise and resources needed

  1. to design and complete clinical trials,
  2. to recruit, characterize, and follow human subjects for translational studies of laboratory-based cancer biomarkers, and
  3. to obtain blood-based and tissue-based materials in support of clinical trials and biomarker research projects.

To meet these objectives, the Clinical Core articulates the following four specific aims:

  • Specific Aim 1: Design and implement clinical trials and clinical studies
  • Specific Aim 2: Identify, solicit, and enroll subjects into SPORE clinical trials, patient registries, and high risk cohorts
  • Specific Aim 3: Collect, manage, and store high quality risk factor and clinical outcome information, and
  • Specific Aim 4: Deliver protocol-directed interventions and collect blood and tissue samples

The Clinical Core designs and implements clinical trials through the active participation of experienced clinical investigators. To enroll subjects into SPORE clinical studies, the Clinical Core integrates with local lung cancer treatment programs and with the Pittsburgh Lung Screening Study (PLuSS), an established high risk cohort containing over 3600 current and ex-cigarette smokers. In the renewal period, the Clinical Core proposes continued serial blood and sputum collections and additional computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screenings, restricted to the high risk subset in the PLuSS Extension Study. To collect and manage research data, Clinical Core investigators receive database management support through the Biostatistical/Bioinformatics Core and organize the activities of approved research protocols pertaining to subject recruitment, data and biological sample collection, and follow-up. The Clinical Core will assure enrollment, treatment, and follow-up of human subjects in SPORE biosopecimen collection and treatment protocols in compliance with all applicable regulations to maximize translation of SPORE research to improve lung cancer detection and treatment while protectring human subjects from harm.