Biostatistics and Informatics Core
The Biostatistics and Informatics Core is responsible for all computing, networking and programming needs of the center and also provides biostatistics, analysis, and data management support to the entire Breast Center. These services include assistance with clinical study design, experimental design, statistical data analysis, database construction and maintenance, programming support and IT support.
National Tissue Resource and Pathology Core
The objectives of the NTPRC are:
To provide centralized support for acquisition, banking, management, and distribution of tissue within the SPORE, and to maintain and update the databases with annotation and follow-up associated with these tissues. We will manage and distribute tissue and data from legacy inventories to qualified researchers, inside and outside our SPORE; collect, quality control, manage, and distribute newly acquired breast cancer materials including clinical trial specimens to qualified researchers; and annotate materials already in the collections from appropriately consented subjects with additional clinical, pathologic and follow-up information.
To provide histologic assessment and quality control of these tissues, along with tissue-based studies such as IHC using these clinical specimens as well as mouse tissues from the preclinical experiments. We will quality control and perform accurate pathologic assessment of tumors; and coordinate and manage the pathology support for the SPORE projects, developing new assays as required and working with the investigators to determine the methodologies most appropriate for their needs.
The NTRPC is a continuation of two existing, well-functioning, and absolutely essential Cores. Although the guidelines state that “each SPORE must have a dedicated core for collection and distribution of human cancer specimens”, the NTRPC greatly surpasses this minimum requirement — it is critical not only for the research activities proposed in this SPORE, but it has been and will continue to be an important research resource to other scientists within and outside Baylor College of Medicine who are engaged in translational breast cancer research. In fact, over the past 20 years, 46,880 specimens have been distributed to more than 159 investigators/institutions around the country.
Our Breast SPORE consists of four full research projects as well as developmental projects, career development, and specialized core resources. An administrative core is needed to efficiently utilize administrative personnel and to provide common services for these projects and cores. Dr. C. Kent Osborne, as principal investigator of the SPORE, will direct this administrative core.
The core will support communication and integration among SPORE members, organize regular SPORE membership meetings as well as conferences and seminars, and assist in coordinating clinical trials management within the SPORE projects. The core also provides a pool of services which are common to all components of the SPORE, including: financial administration of grant funds and the director’s discretionary funds, organization of conferences and seminars, administrative processing of review and funding of developmental projects, management and review of developmental projects, coordination of travel, report preparation, monitoring human subjects training, conflict of interest reporting and management, and assurance of compliance with all NIH and institutional grant regulations. The core will also coordinate the services of our Internal Advisory Board and Advocates Committee, and arrange for the visits of our External Advisory Board members to review our progress and make recommendations.
In summary, consolidation of common support and administrative functions relieves individual projects of many minor but important tasks, and assures quality control in record-keeping, services, and compliance issues. Core personnel are highly experienced, and the core provides well-organized and cost-effective support to all components of the SPORE