The Pathology Network Shared Resource is a comprehensive tissue resource that functions to provide biospecimens (tumor tissues and their derivatives) for research and a range of services that accompany biospecimens. This shared resource facility has 26 staff members and more than 10,000 square feet of research space. Functionally the PNSR is divided into general histology, biospecimen procurement and banking, digital scanning and image scoring, and clinical trials service.
The histology subsection provides general histology, immunostaining, and other specialized tissue staining services. Accompanying digital scanning and image scoring services are also available, jointly overseen by a pathologist and PhD qualified imaging specialist. The resource also has extensive experience with handling fresh, frozen, or formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from human, mouse or rat sources. Immunohistochemistry is a major component of the PNSR services and more than 100 antibodies are optimized annually; more than 700 antibody staining procedures are currently available for research requests. Equally important, the biospecimen procurement and banking subsection of the PNSR is considered to be one of the finest programs in the country, and was presented at the 2008 and 2009 annual meetings of the American Association of Cancer Institutes (AACI) as a model of excellence. All biospecimen procurement is performed by trained, certified, Pathologist Assistants using detailed SOP’s, and all banking activities are recorded by an electronic Laboratory Information Management System. Procured biospecimens are stored in -80C freezers that are protected by stat-of-the-art monitoring systems with backup. The PNSR biobank was the 6th leading contributor of specimens to The Cancer Genome Atlas attesting to the tumor tissue resources available at RPCI.
The PNSR also offers clinical block archiving, review and retrieval services, tissue microarray construction, spectral karyotyping, Aperio slide scanning and laser microdissection services.