Biospecimen Core

Directors: Ryan Fields, MD, and Mark Watson, MD

Biospecimen CoreThe controlled collection and processing of clinical specimens from patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a critical activity for an efficient and comprehensive program in translational research in the pancreas SPORE. Accordingly, the Biospecimen Core has one overarching aim: We will collect, store, process and distribute biospecimens from all patients with a diagnosis of PDAC seen at this institution to facilitate biospecimen-based translational research. 

Our investigators collect malignant cell populations from tumors (from pre-surgical and surgical biopsies) along with normal pancreas, pre-malignant pancreatic lesions and peripheral blood from PDAC patients. Serum and plasma are collected for correlative and future studies. Specimens are collected throughout each patient's disease course (initial presentation, pre-treatment, post-treatment/follow-up), and, where appropriate, archival specimens from previous biopsies/etc. are retrieved. Specimens are processed to cellular RNA, genomic DNA, whole genome amplified DNA and protein extracts as required for each study. Cellular populations can also be frozen or immediately processed for patient-derived xenograft and/or cell line derivitization/creation.  A tissue microarray (TMA) has been created and will be expanded, creating an important resource for future studies. Importantly, all specimens used for research are extensively and accurately annotated with clinical (pre-treatment, treatment and follow-up) data utilizing the bioinformatics infrastructure at our institution. Expert pathologic review from a dedicated GI pathologist will ensure high-quality annotation. 

The aims of the Biospecimen Core are accomplished by expanding the scope of a well-established Cancer Center Tumor Bank and an on-going, funded effort to collect solid gastrointestinal malignancies at our institution.  Specifically, the Biospecimen Core will expand the number of PDAC patients from whom biospecimens will be collected, and serve as a conduit (through data and specimen sharing) to allow for a broader variety of translational research studies in PDAC malignancies, using new and previously banked biospecimens. 

The Biospecimen Core is responsible for the identification, enrollment and collection of specimens from adult patients referred to the Siteman Cancer Center (SCC) with newly diagnosed PDAC.  The pathologic material from these patients will be banked utilizing our existing collaboration with the SCC Tissue Procurement Core, drawing on caTissue and other informatics resources developed by the Center for Biomedical Informatics. Clinical data will be annotated and prospectively maintained in a robust clinical database. The Biospecimen Core is integrated with and extends the success of our existing Solid Tumor Tissue Bank and Registry, which was established by the Biospecimen Core (PI Fields) in 2011, to serve as a platform for the investigation of solid tumor pathogenesis.

Available Resources:
Tissue MicroArrays (TMAs)
Pancreatic Tumors
Bloods
Animal Models

Please contact Elizabeth Pittman for specimen requests at 314-362-2678 with the completed biospecimen request form.

Request Form for Biospecimens
*Please note requests are honored through a peer-review process.