Core B: Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory/Tissue Microarray Core (IMCPL/TMA)
This laboratory is a specialized facility at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), which is dedicated to the state-of-the-art evaluation of immune responses prior to, during and after therapeutic interventions in patients with cancer. In addition to generating cellular products for human therapy, it also provides specialized morphology services. In its role as Core B for the Skin Cancer SPORE, the IMCPL will assume responsibility for supporting the biotherapy-based clinical trials proposed by the projects.
Core B, functioning as a GMP facility, will culture and characterize dendritic cells (DC) for patient therapy and prepare vaccines by pulsing these DC with peptides or proteins or infecting DC with AdV, as specified in the clinical protocols associated with the SPORE grant. Core B will be responsible for quality and sterility of the DC-based vaccines. It will also procure and process all body fluids and tissues harvested in the course of the clinical trials. Tissue specimens will be used for microarray preparation and immunohistochemisty.
Core B, serving as a GLP facility, will monitor immunologic responses to the administered vaccines by performing ELISPOT assays, tetramer analyses or cytokine flow cytometry (CFC). Cytokines in supernatants or body fluids will be monitored by the immunobead-based multiplex method established in the IMCPL. Core B will also be prepared to assist the SPORE investigators in implementing assays necessary for evaluation of immunologic responses to vaccines, including phenotypic and functional assays for regulatory T cells (Treg). The Core will ensure that all cellular products it generates and samples it collects are accompanied by appropriate documentation that will permit linking laboratory analyses with clinical results. Core B will also provide assistance in preparation of IND submissions.
The Core laboratory has a long history of collaboration with all of the SPORE investigators, and in the context of the proposed clinical and pre-clinical studies will be entirely dedicated to the support of therapies being developed for patients with melanoma or cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).