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Cores

The Lymphoma SPORE is supported by four Cores:

  • Core A: Administrative Core
  • Core B: Biospecimens Core
  • Core C: Clinical Research Core
  • Core D: Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core

Core A: Administrative Core

Leader: Anas Younes, M.D.
Co-Leader: Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.

Core A responsibilities:

  1. Ensure overall scientific quality assurance and function of the SPORE, the Scientific Projects, and the Core Resources. Communicate and consult with Project Investigators and Core leaders, including Developmental and Career Development Program Investigators. Ensure communication and cooperation between MD Anderson and the participating outside institution, the University of Nebraska.
  2. Ensure overall compliance with all general governmental and specific NCI regulations and requirements. Communicate and consult frequently with the NCI Program Officer and other staff, and be responsible for the preparation of all necessary reports and other reporting requirements.
  3. Oversee expenditures and maintain budget information.
  4. Convene all necessary meetings, including the Executive Committee, External and Internal Advisory Committees, monthly scientific SPORE meetings, lectures and symposia, and ensure attendance at the annual SPORE meetings.
  5. Administer the Developmental Research and Career Development Programs, including obtaining mentors, biostatistical and bioinformatics support, and assist the Executive Committee and External Advisors in selection of Developmental and Career Development Projects for funding. Specifically establish and monitor policies for recruitment of women and minorities to this program.
  6. Assist with preparation of all publications resulting from the SPORE program.
  7. Coordinate, obtain and maintain institutional commitment to the SPORE.
  8. Encourage and facilitate inter-SPORE communication, collaborations, cooperation, data and resource sharing.
  9. Coordinate and facilitate SPORE interactions with the pharmaceutical and biotech industries
  10. Coordinate and facilitate Patient Advocate involvement in the SPORE.

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Core B: Biospecimens Core

Leader: Jeffrey Medeiros, M.D.
Co-Leader: Timothy J McDonnell, M.D., Ph.D.

The dedicated personnel and facilities of the Biospecimens Core provide the Lymphoma SPORE program with samples of tissue, blood, and tissue derivatives essential to achieving the aims of the Projects. Core personnel work closely with SPORE investigators to plan specific tissue needs and to establish optimal and efficient utilization of tissue samples.

The Biospecimens Core also is responsible for generating a data repository, the information in which provides a detailed molecular characterization of clinically annotated tissue samples. This repository will be available as a shared-use resource for SPORE investigators for expanding correlative studies, interrogating gene networks or specific signaling pathways, and as a hypothesis-generating tool. Periodic assessment of established methods of tissue collection in relation to the evolving needs of the projects and protocol specific-tissue requirements ensures the availability of well characterized and clinically relevant tissue samples for the MD Anderson SPORE investigators and investigators of collaborating institutions. 

This goal will be accomplished through the following objectives:

  1. Maintain a bank of fresh/frozen cells and tissues and paraffin-embedded tissues of normal lymph node and lymphoma specimens (lymph node, extranodal tissue, needle biopsy, bone marrow, and blood).
  2. Provide uniform pathology review and classification for all clinical specimens utilized in the SPORE projects, incorporating the results of all diagnostic testing performed on these specimens (flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, cytogenetics, and molecular testing). Provide hematopathology expertise to facilitate hypothesis generation of tissue-based research based on available Biospecimens Core resources.
  3. Create, characterize, and provide tissue derivatives for investigational use. The Biospecimens Core will also provide technical services as needed, including immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, molecular diagnostic tests, tissue microdissection, and cell separation.
  4. Maintain a database for all lymphoma specimens collected by the Biospecimens Core and provide appropriate data as needed by the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core for project analyses and specialized databases maintained by the SPORE investigators.

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Core C: Clinical Research Core

Leader: Anas Younes, M.D.
Co-Leader: Jorge Romaguera, M.D.

The primary goal of the Clinical Research Core is to assist in bridging the gap between translational research and clinical research, and to provide a link between clinical research and specific SPORE projects. These goals will be accomplished through the following objectives:

  1. Coordinate the development, submission, and approval of the SPORE clinical trials.
  2. Assist in patient accrual to SPORE clinical trials.
  3. Report adverse events to the IRB and appropriate agencies.
  4. Provide quality control on SPORE clinical trial data.
  5. Provide data from clinical trials to the Biostatistics core for data analysis.
  6. Identify and coordinate collection of specimens from patients enrolled on SPORE trials.
  7. Provide training and continued education for research nurses and data coordinators supporting SPORE clinical trials.

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Core D: Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core

Leader: Donald Berry, Ph.D.
Co-Leader: Yuan Ji, Ph.D.

The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core will be a comprehensive resource for the design of clinical and basic science experiments, data acquisition and management, developing innovative statistical methodology, bioinformatics data analysis, and publishing translational research generated through the Lymphoma SPORE program.

This Core will incorporate sound experimental design principles within each project that are specific to the scientific issues being addressed. Each project will be provided with tailored analyses, accompanied by appropriate and sometimes novel statistical development. The leaders of this core will meet regularly with project investigators. The purposes of these meetings are to discuss the design and conduct of new and existing research projects, evaluate results of analyses, and discuss potential new research initiatives and directions within SPORE. 

The Core leaders will also work with project investigators to identify quantitative measures that can be used to test study hypotheses and to determine sample sizes to ensure sufficient power for the studies. In addition, the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core will collaborate with all project investigators to facilitate the timely publication of all data collected under the SPORE research program.

The main objectives of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core are to:

  1. Provide statistical designs, including sample size and power calculations, for research and clinical projects.
  2. Provide all statistical data analyses including descriptive analyses, hypothesis testing, estimation, and modeling of prospectively generated data.
  3. Generate statistical reports for all projects.
  4. Develop and adapt innovative statistical methods pertinent to biomarker-integrated translational lymphoma studies.
  5. Provide bioinformatics data analysis of high-throughput and high dimensional data.
  6. Collaborate with and assist all project investigators in the publication of scientific results.

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center