Tissue Management

Providing IRB-approved centralized tissue procurement services, fresh tissue collection, histology services, and tissue microarrays for Cancer Center members.

The Tissue Management Shared Resource was established to provide IRB-approved centralized tissue procurement service for specimens derived from consented human participants. A full description of our services is listed below.

Services

Archival Biospecimens

More than 23,000 bodily fluids such as blood, urine, and pleural fluid and tissue specimens including breast, lung, prostate, kidney, bladder, colon, liver, and pancreas have been collected since its establishment. Each tissue aliquot is evaluated by a board-certified anatomical pathologist to determine tumor cellularity. The resource has both frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue available for research projects.

Specimen-related data are captured and stored in our tissue management database, OpenSpecimen, and are correlated with clinical information through the Simmons Cancer Center’s clinical research data warehouse (i2b2) and the University’s tumor registry. All specimen requests must be approved by the resource director and tissue-specific review committees. To request specimens, complete the Tissue Specimen Request Form or the Blood Specimen Request Form and email it to the Resource manager.

Fresh Tissue Collection

In parallel with the banking effort, the Tissue Management Shared Resource offers prospective procurement services for fresh tissue. The prospective procurement is coordinated with the surgical staff, pathologists, and investigators. All prospective procurement requests must be approved by the resource director and tissue-specific committees and reviewed on a yearly basis. To request specimens, complete the Tissue Specimen Request Form or the Blood Specimen Request Form and email it to the Resource manager.

Histology

Routine histology methods for formalin fixation, vacuum infiltration, and paraffin embedding are used by the Shared Tissue Management Resource. Frozen or FFPE tissue sections are typically cut at 4 micron and can be stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Tissue processing and staining are fully automated. A Histology Request Form must be submitted before any work can be performed. Complete the form and deliver it to the histologist with investigator-provided tissue samples. If the investigator is requesting the use of the Tissue Management’s specimens, a Tissue Specimen Request Form and Histology Request Form should be completed and emailed to the Resource manager. All specimen requests must be approved by the resource director and tissue-specific committees. 

Tissue Microarrays

The tissue bank has pre-existing tissue arrays for a variety of invasive cancers. Each array is annotated with clinical information including tumor histology, grade, stage, and overall survival. Please contact the resource director to obtain more information.

Immunohistochemical Staining Services

The Resource provides immunohistochemical services using the Dako Autostainer Link 48 system. This open system allows for flexibility in designing custom staining protocols, use of non-Dako reagents, mouse or rabbit primary antibodies, and staining of human and animal tissues.

Antibody Optimization: We have successfully optimized antibodies from vendors such as Cell Signaling, Sigma, Abcam, Santa Cruz and Millipore. Before purchasing an antibody for IHC, clients should schedule a meeting with the Shared Resource manager to discuss the project and review the Dako.com website to determine if an optimized antibody is readily available (>200 antibodies). The Tissue Management Resource has a stock of some of the most common cancer related primary antibodies available for IHC staining for an additional charge.

IHC Staining: For clients requesting staining with an optimized antibody, complete the IHC Request Form and bring it to the laboratory when dropping off the unstained slides. If an investigator is requesting the use of the Tissue Management’s specimens, a Tissue Specimen Request Form should also be completed. All specimen requests must be approved by the resource director and tissue-specific committees.

Directed Banking

The Tissue Management Resource is able to assist in the processing and storage of specimens for any investigator cancer-related study. Standard operating procedures will be developed specific to the study. The Resource has ample storage for ambient or frozen specimens. All our ultralow freezers are monitored 24 hours a day with an external monitoring system.

Service Fees

The use of shared resource specimens and services are available to cancer center members, UTSW scientists, and external researchers. Service fees are subsidized for Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center members. Members also have priority for specimens with limited inventory. Please contact the Resource manager with any additional questions.