Specialized Histopathology Core

The DF/HCC Specialized Histopathology Services (SHS) Core provides high-quality, timely, state-of-the-art technical and professional pathology services to DF/HCC investigators working in a variety of experimental organisms, including rodents, fish, and monkeys, as well as with human tissues. The Core performs routine histology and special histochemical stains, and also assists in experimental design and the development, application, and interpretation of biomarker tests and their results. Specific services include immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescent staining, in situ hybridization, and access to a laser capture microdissection system.

Key Services

  • Tissue trimming, cassetting, processing, and embedding
  • Cutting and staining of paraffin-embedded and frozen OCT sections
  • Immunohistochemistry for both routine and novel markers
  • Eye Pathology services (human and mouse) (MGH only)
  • Immunofluorescent staining (Longwood only)
  • In situ hybridization, using chromogenic or radioactive detection methods (Longwood only)
  • CLIA certified services (Longwood only)
  • Laser capture microdissection (Longwood only)

For more information on services go to: https://pathcore.hms.harvard.edu/catalog/.

Highlighted Projects

Project Title: Activation of the PD-1 pathway contributes to immune escape in EGFR-driven lung tumors
Principal Investigator:
 Kwok-Kin Wong, MD, PhD (DFCI)
Description of the Project (Longwood Site):

  • Noted a correlation between EGFR activation and evidence of immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment in human lung cancers and mouse models of EGFR-driver cancer
  • PD-1 blockade improved survival in murine EGFR-driven lung cancer models
  • Mutant EGFR acutely induced expression of PD-L1 in bronchial epithelial cells, an effect that was abrogated by EGFR inhibitors

The results demonstrate that mutant EGFR signaling can inhibit antitumor immune responses by activating the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, which inhibits T-cell function and suppression production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cancer Discovery, September 27, 2013.
Contribution of the Core:
 Performed and interpreted histological and immunohistochemical stains.

Project Title: Cross-species array comparative genomic hybridization identifies novel oncogenic events in zebrafish and human embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
Principal InvestigatorDavid Langenau, PhD (MGH)
Description of the Project (MGH Site):

  • Novel approach: array CGH to zebrafish embryonal rhabdomyosaroma (ERMS) and cross-species comparison are utilized to rapidly identify genomic copy number aberrations and novel candidate oncogenes in human disease.
  • 16 of 19 chromosomal gains identified in zebrafish ERMS were found to also exhibit focal, low-copy gains in human disease.
  • Genes found in amplified genomic regions were assessed for functional roles in promoting continued tumor growth in human and zebrafish ERM and critical genes associated with tumor maintenance were identified.
  • Genes identified were validated by knockdown studies.

The results demonstrate the utility of array CGH and cross-species comparisons to identify candidate oncogenes.
Immunohistochemistry of human primary RMS and fetal muscle tissue samples.

Hematoxylin and Eosin stained sections (A–C). Expression of some of the genes identified by the CGH in different types of rhabdomyosarcomas. HOXC6, CCND2, PLXNA1 and VEGFA in embryonal rhabdomyosaroma (D, G, J, M), alveolar rhabdomyosaroma (E, H, K, N) and fetal muscle (F, I, L, O). PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(8)
Contribution of the Core:
 Performed and interpreted histological and immunohistochemical stains.


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 Specialized Histopathology Core, which provided __________ service. Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center is supported in part by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant # NIH 5 P30 CA06516."