University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Lung Cancer SPORE

Core C: Tissue and Blood Bank

Sanja Dacic, MD, Co-Leader
Rajiv Dhir, MD, Co-Leader

The Tissue and Blood Bank Core for the Lung Cancer SPORE will serve as a shared resource for the main Research Projects and for the Career Development and Developmental Research Programs. The Core will collect, process, store and distribute tissue and body fluid specimens from patients diagnosed with lung cancer or with suspected lung cancer, and from subjects who are members of the PLuSS cohort and the PLuSS High-Risk Sub-Cohort. Triage and distribution of all specimens will be prioritized according to a plan established with all SPORE investigators, and approved by the Tissue and Blood Bank Core Pathologists.

The Core will procure and triage fresh human lung tissue, including tumor, adjacent uninvolved, and normal tissues distal from the tumor, and biopsies of the airway, from lung cancer patients undergoing resections or bronchoscopies, as well as individuals undergoing these procedures for reasons other than lung cancer. After triage under sterile conditions, tissues designated by the Core Pathologist as normal or abnormal will be either immediately distributed to investigators as needed for experimentation or stored for future use.

Lymphocytes, serum, and plasma will be separated from other blood components and used immediately or stored for future analysis. Sputum will also be collected and processed. Tissues will also be formalin fixed for paraffin embedding. Tumor blocks from patients enrolled in clinical trials will be obtained and stored by the Core. Paraffin embedded specimens will be either sectioned for use in staining protocols or used for the preparation of tissue microarrays (TMAs).

The Core will also carry out Kras and EGFR mutation analyses on microdissected tumor specimens and will utilize tumor tissue sections for EGFR amplification analyses by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The Core will also carry out routine and special pathology such as immunohistochemistry, morphometry, digital imaging and photography. Modifications will be made as necessary to meet any changes in SPORE research goals. All tissues will be collected through IRB-approved protocols on which Tissue and Blood Bank Core pathologists will be co-investigators. The Tissue Core will take advantage of infrastructure at UPCI for procurement of tissue, but will not duplicate it.

In order to carry out translational studies, it is necessary to utilize biospecimens from lung cancer patients and individuals at risk for lung cancer to analyze genetic predisposition, biomarkers of presence of lung cancer, and biomarkers that predict disease risk, disease outcome or response to therapy. The Tissue and Blood Bank Core will provide essential pathology and banking services to carry out translational studies.