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Core Facilities

Pathology Specimen Locator (Pathology)

Core Description

The Pathology Specimen Locator (PSL) Core has developed and implemented a web-based, center-wide solution that enables investigators to identify, locate, and retrieve formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded pathology specimens for translational research. The Core has created an operation to eliminate barriers to accessing tissues and has united resources such as pathologist expertise, tissues, and histopathologic services. PSL was integrated with the DF/HCC Pathology cores in July 2008, and became fully staffed and operational in December 2008.

The PSL Core has components in each of the five DF/HCC hospitals and has established a network of autonomous, distributed, searchable databases that contain de-identified, coded, pathologic information on post-diagnostic, excess human materials (including frozen or paraffin-embedded tissues and bodily fluids). Standardized specimen datasets include: age, gender, anatomic location, tissue type, and diagnoses. Access to the PSL query tool is available through the password-protected Harvard eCommons.

The initial PSL participants include the pathology departments of BIDMC, BWH, CHB, and MGH, and therefore, currently only paraffin-embedded tissues are listed in the PSL. In the future, other tumor banks will be added. Each participating repository controls its particular information and specimens, and the guidelines governing access to specimens are published on the PSL query page. Guardians of each bank will abide by the general rules established by the PSL Oversight Committee regarding access.

Leadership and Staff

Core Director/Site Pathologist: Frank Kuo, MD, PhD (BWH)
PSL Research Coordinator: Kyoko Yamamoto (BWH), 857-307-3024
Site Pathologist: Mark Boguski, MD (BIDMC)
Site Pathologist: Antonio Perez-Atayde, MD (CHB)
Site Pathologist: John Gilbertson, MD (MGH)

PUBLICATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: If research supported by this core facility results in publication, please acknowledge this support by including the following in your publication(s):

We thank Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, MA, for the use of the Pathology Specimen Locator Core, which provided __________ service. Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center is supported in part by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant # NIH 5 P30 CA06516.