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Preclinical Radiation Core Facility

Preclinical radiation research in cell or small animal models is essential for understanding the biological effects of radiation or other modalities used in combination with radiation before considering human clinical trials.

Unfortunately, many investigators do not have the training in radiation physics and radiobiology to conduct this research properly, which often results in experimental results that cannot be reproduced by other scientists. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Cancer Institute, and many prominent research journals have raised concerns that preclinical radiation research often calculates radiation doses inaccurately and calibrates irradiation devices improperly. Furthermore, many preclinical research facilities have not kept pace with the technologies currently used in clinical radiation therapy, which limits the clinical relevance of their research findings.

To address these limitations in preclinical radiation research, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has provided funding to develop a Preclinical Radiation Core Facility (PCRCF). The PCRCF will provide CPRIT-funded and other investigators throughout Texas access to state-of-the-art radiation and imaging technologies, as well as the expertise needed to perform accurate, clinically relevant cancer therapy research. 

The PCRCF will organize, consolidate, and administer existing resources at UT Southwestern under a single banner.

Available resources will include not only irradiators and imaging technologies, but also cell and animal models that have been developed for use in experiments involving radiation.

Investigators will be given proper training on PCRCF devices.

Medical physicists will ensure that machines are calibrated properly and that radiation doses are calculated accurately. In addition to a complete description of the dosimetry plan for their experiments, investigators will be provided with the proper language for publication.

The objective of the PCRCF is to ensure that pre-clinical radiation experiments are performed correctly and their results are communicated clearly and accurately.