The Translational Laboratory Shared Services (TLSS) established at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC) facilitates the preclinical studies (drug screening and in vivo animal models) and clinical development of novel, anticancer agents for patients with skin cancer such as melanoma, breast cancer, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, leukemia and lymphoma. The goals of TLSS are (1) to make preclinical in vitro and in vivo model expertise available to UMGCC members and facilitate translation of novel therapeutic concepts; (2) to add value to advanced preclinical developments of pharmaceutical companies and create a pipeline of new drugs for UMGCC's Phase I and II clinicians; and (3) to provide UMGCC clinicians with the means to perform early clinical trials and assessment of pharmacodynamic endpoints of molecularly targeted drugs. TLSS offers several in vitro assays: proliferation/cytotoxicity assays including MTT, XTT and WST-1 (mitochondrial function), SRB (total cellular protein), propidium iodide staining (total DNA content); proliferation/drug combination assays for single agents and the drug combination; tumor stem cell proliferation assays; in vivo nude mouse assays, including MTD and tissue collection, establishment of tumor xenograft mouse models, pharmacodynamic endpoints efficacy studies, establishment of cell lines from tumors. TLSS offers immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence, Western blotting, Real time PCR, development of stably transfected cell lines, proteomic and genomic analyses before and after drug treatment. The clinical services include patient sensitivity testing; collection and processing of clinical materials (blood, bone marrow, tissue); development of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and clinical trial protocol.
Currently, several clinical Phase I and II trials, with a translational research initiative component, are ongoing. Some of them are sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). TLSS also provides these services to small biotechnology companies. Future plans for TLSS include services for researchers studying the HIV-1-related tumors such as Kaposi's sarcoma and B lymphoma.