Tissue Pathology & Biospecimen Shared Resource

The Tissue Pathology & Biospecimen Shared Resource (TPB SR) at Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) provides services in two areas central to basic, translational, and clinical cancer research – specifically tissue pathology and biospecimen collection and annotation. The TPB SR is led by a board-certified pathologist, Kar-Ming Fung, M.D., while the tissue pathology and biospecimen services have their own respective team leaders.

Tissue Pathology Service

The Tissue Pathology Service provides:

  • Consultation on experimental design and assistance with interpretation of histopathology and staining results
  • Conventional histology services including tissue decalcification, processing, and embedding (paraffin and frozen); paraffin and frozen sections; and conventional staining such as hematoxylin-eosin.
  • Bright-field-based whole slide scanning up to 40x with image analysis software
  • Bright-field, polarized light, and fluorescence single-frame digital photography

TPB SR will provide the detection system and all other required materials, including assistance with appropriate positive and negative controls. Whole slide scanning, image analysis, and digital photography, are essentially self-service following completion of training. Frozen sectioning can be either self-service or staff-operated. Other services are provided by TBP SR staff.

The Tissue Pathology Service has the following equipment available for specific services:

Services: Conventional Histology
Equipment: Histology ST5020 stainer, TP 2010 processing machine, EG1150H embedding center, CM1950 cyrostat, R2255 microtome, Brady BSP31 cassette labeler, BBP11 label marker, Zeiss microscope.
Function/Operation: Histologic processing, embedding, sectioning (frozen & paraffin blocks). Equipment is staff operated except for the cryostat which trained researchers may operate.

Services: Photomicrography & Figure Assembly
Equipment: Nikon Eclipse Ni-E microscope & camera, Adobe Photoshop.
Function/Operation: Bright-field and fluorescence (up to 3 channels) digital photomicrography. Both are self-operated after training. Staff assisted figure construction is available.

Services: Laptops for Image Analysis
Equipment: Three laptops each loaded with a site license of HALO Plus 10.
Function/Operation: Self-operated laptops available for loan. Leica-Aperio ImageScope is also loaded on these laptops.

Services: Image Analysis
Equipment: Indica HALO Plus 101 and Leica-Aperio2 image analysis software.
Function/Operation: Image analysis. Self-operated. Leica-Aperio software is available online. HALO is loaded on laptops.

Algorithms of HALO Plus 10 include area quantitation, tissue classifier, tissue microarray (TMA), spatial analysis, ISH-IHC, immune cell, cytonuclear quantitation FL, high-plex FL, membrane quantitation FL, membrane IHC quantitation, and cytonuclear IHC quantitation. 2 Algorithms of Leica-Aperio image analysis software include positive pixel count, membrane count, vessel count, nuclear count, cytoplasmic count, rare event count, color deconvolution, ISH quantitation, and TMA segregation.

Biospecimen Service

The Biospecimen Service provides:

  • Prospective and retrospective specimens annotated with demographics, pathological diagnosis, staging, biomarkers and clinical information
  • Procurement for prospective specimens
  • Retrieval of archival materials
  • Storage of human specimens including tissue, blood and other specimen types as required
  • Distribution of fresh, frozen and paraffin-embedded specimens to approved investigators
  • Liaison between investigators and the Department of Pathology regarding search and retrieval of archival materials
  • Consultation between pathologists and researchers for protocol development and specimen evaluation

Type and availability of samples differ by organ; a web-based catalog of annotated specimens is available. Permission to access the catalog can be obtained through the TBP SR office. The biospecimen bank currently contains over 30,000 aliquoted samples collected since 2008, including tissue, blood, plasma, serum, cell and buccal samples. The Biospecimen Service utilizes an IRB-approved Universal Consent that allows patients at OU Health to donate tissue or blood; over 3,500 patients have consented to participate since 2008. The collection contains especially large numbers of gynecologic and pancreatic cancer specimens.

If relevant specimens are not available in the Biospecimen Bank, staff will facilitate the procurement of specimens from appropriate sources, including archival samples stored within the Department of Pathology. Staff also support protocol-driven specimen collection for specific research projects. Users are encouraged to contact the Biospecimen Service for more information.

Accessing Services

To request any TPB SR service, visit the iLab page. You may need to set up an account when you visit iLab for the first time. Within iLab, you can request services, monitor progress of your project, and communicate with TBP SR staff.