Administrative Core

The purpose of the Administration, Evaluation and Planning (Administrative) Core is to assure the coordination of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) Kidney Cancer SPORE components and to continue to provide oversight and leadership for the scientific, administrative and fiscal aspects of the SPORE. The Administrative Core allows for the provision of stimulating intellectual activities, organization of venues for planning future research through seminars and retreats, and the oversight of research and spending. Drs. McDermott and Kaelin, the SPORE Directors, are committed to the success of the SPORE and will personally monitor the progress of the Projects and Cores, oversee the Career Development and Developmental Research Programs, and oversee all other proposed activities. As both SPORE Directors and Leaders of the Kidney Cancer Program within the Dana-Farber/Harvard Center (DF/HCC), Drs. McDermott and Kaelin have the authority and resources to ensure the success of this SPORE. The Administrative Core of the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer SPORE will accomplish the goals of the SPORE by following six specific aims: 1) Monitor research progress and plan for the future, 2) foster collaborative research within and between SPOREs, 3) Integrate the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer SPORE into the structure of DF/HCC, 4) Provide necessary resources and fiscal oversight, 5) promote patient participation, particularly minorities, in Kidney Cancer research and treatment 6) Promote rapid dissemination of significant research findings and free and open communication and resource exchange between the DF/HCC SPORE and other institutions. As they have since early 2014, Drs. McDermott and Kaelin will provide the tools to foster collaborations between the institutions inside and outside of the SPORE, to leverage the considerable power of the SPORE in order to promote kidney cancer research.

Biostatistics Core

The Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) SPORE in Kidney Cancer Biostatistics and Computational Biology Core (Core 1)collaborates and provides consultation on all research activities within the SPORE including SPORE Projects, the Developmental Research and Career Development Programs, and other SPORE Cores - to ensure the highest standards of scientific rigor in areas of study design, data management and integrity, and data analysis and interpretation. The specific aims are to: 1. Provide biostatistical and computational biology expertise for the planning and design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of laboratory, genomic, animal, translational, clinical (including associated correlative studies), and epidemiological studies for SPORE Projects, Developmental Research and Career Development Program projects, and other SPORE Cores. 2. Provide consultation on all issues of data management and integrity, including data collection, storage, transfer and quality assurance, on statistical and computational biology software and programs, and on coordination of laboratory results with parameters and outcomes from clinical studies or clinical/translational research databases 3. Provide short-term biostatistics and computational biology consulting to SPORE researchers.


The first and foremost goal of the Tissue Acquisition, Pathology, and Clinical Data (TAPCD) Core is to maintain and expand the existing repository for specimens, including tissues, blood and urine from patients with kidney tumors that have given consent to link their samples to clinical data. Included in this component are the collection, freezing, and storage of fresh samples of kidney cancer and paired non-tumor tissue; the collection, processing and storage of blood and urine; the identification and provision of samples of fixed tissues, including construction of tissue microarrays (TMAs) from biopsy and nephrectomy samples obtained from patients who have consented to allow analysis of these tissues. The caTissue system, which is the NCI caBIG's biorepository tool for biospecimen inventory management, is currently used to track specimens through every step of the requesting, shipping, and receiving process through the use of barcode technology.

Importantly, the TAPCD Core will continue to maintain a database of clinical data (CRIS) on all consenting RCC patients. The value of the database is enhanced by the use of standardized pathology review procedures and data collection procedures. The database and specimen tracking system provide an informatics link among the participating DF/HCC hospitals, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (DFCI/BWH), the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Children’s Hospital of Boston (CHB). This allows seamless sharing of specimen resources, linked to clinical outcome data, behind a secure data management system that is available to SPORE investigators at all participating institutions. The protection of patient confidentiality is guarded throughout the whole process, from specimen collection to use in research projects. The Biostatistics Core is and will continue to be responsible for assisting in the data analysis, data auditing and quality control.

Finally, TAPCD Core has provided and will continue to provide SPORE investigators a variety of services critical to successful molecular analysis of human kidney tumors as well as xenograft models. These services include: histopathologic review and quality control analysis of all tumor samples utilized in experimental studies; macrodissection of frozen tissue samples and slide microdissection of paraffin-embedded or frozen tissues to ensure high neoplastic cellularity for samples utilized in experimental studies; laser capture microdissection (LCM) to provide ultra-pure tumor samples; performance of routine immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF) stains on human kidney cancers (TMAs or whole tissue sections); optimization and validation of antibodies to known and novel proteins for use in IHC and IF; analysis of a broad range of IHC and IF stains using computer-assisted image analysis; development of novel RCC models.