Core Resources

The Mayo Clinic SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer has an administrative core and three scientific cores, all of which help consolidate and facilitate the expertise required for effective pancreatic cancer research.

Administrative Core

Directors: Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D., and Charles Erlichman, M.D.

The Administrative Core provides organizational support for the leadership of the Mayo Clinic SPORE in Pancreatic Cancer, facilitates communication among the component activities of the SPORE, serves as the home for SPORE advocate activities, and provides an organizational portal for collaborations outside the SPORE.

The Administrative Core works across all three Mayo Clinic campuses using the institutional infrastructure for communications to ensure that investigators are seamlessly integrated as a SPORE organization.

Specifically, the Administrative Core:

Biostatistics Core

Director: Ann L. Oberg, Ph.D.

The Biostatistics Core provides statistical collaboration and data management support for SPORE research projects, the Developmental Research Program, the Career Development Program and other cores within the SPORE.

The Biostatistics Core builds on the innovative and time-tested procedures and systems developed by Mayo Clinic, one of the largest statistical groups in the country.

Specifically, the Biostatistics Core:

  • Designs and processes data collection forms
  • Develops, maintains and manages database entry systems
  • Implements quality-control measures to ensure high-quality data for analysis
  • Integrates existing and newly collected data using consistent and compatible data handling, including clinical, pathological, diagnostic, biospecimen and genomic data
  • Complements and assists the efforts of the SPORE's Clinical Research and Tissue cores by providing superior data management based on experience with tissue registries
  • Develops study designs and statistical analysis plans
  • Analyzes data using state-of-the-art techniques and provides interpretation of results
  • Assists in abstract and manuscript preparation
  • Provides statistical support across different fields, including molecular epidemiology, basic translational science, immunology, correlative studies, gene microarray and imaging, clinical trials, gene and mutation discovery, information management, and bioinformatics

Clinical Research Core

Directors: Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D., and Charles Erlichman, M.D.

The Clinical Research Core combines the SPORE's patient registry activities with activities that support clinical studies being conducted in the SPORE's four translational research projects.

The directors of the Clinical Research Core have extensive experience in the study and recruitment of patients to research protocols, both for observational studies and clinical trials. Using ultrarapid case finding, the SPORE's patient registry has accrued more than 10,000 participants since 2002. In addition, Mayo Clinic also diagnoses or treats an estimated 650 pancreatic cancer patients a year across its three campuses.

The Clinical Research Core also coordinates its activities closely with the Biostatistics Core and the Tissue Core to ensure the highest quality annotated biospecimens and pancreatic cancer database for research.

The close coordination and oversight of the most senior leaders of the SPORE ensures that all clinical research activities are performed with the highest level of research integrity and adherence to all human subject regulations.

Specifically, the Clinical Research Core:

  • Performs clinical trial management support activities
  • Centrally coordinates all activities with the infrastructure of the Cancer Center Clinical Research Office to ensure smooth execution of the SPORE's early-phase clinical trials
  • Performs all patient recruitment activities for the clinical trials in the SPORE projects
  • Maintains the ultrarapid case recruitment and registry of pancreatic cancer patients
  • Serves as a resource for future projects in the Developmental Research Program and the Career Development Program

Tissue Core

Directors: Thomas C. Smyrk, M.D., and Lizhi Zhang, M.D.

The Tissue Core is responsible for accessioning and processing new biospecimens and making them available for use in the SPORE's translational research projects and as needed for the Developmental Research and Career Development programs. The Tissue Core provides sample accessioning and pathology support for the early-phase clinical trials as needed in these projects.

Requests for biospecimens are reviewed by the Biospecimen Access Committee for Pancreatic Cancer (BACPaC), with consideration given primarily to scientific merit and availability of specimens and their associated data needed for analysis.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's Pathology Research Core provides expertise and service for immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, tissue microarray preparation and digital imaging.

The Cancer Center's Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing Core is the primary site for accessioning and standardized processing of blood, frozen tissue and other nonparaffin-embedded specimens collected specifically for research.

New methodologies for biospecimen collection, processing and analysis are developed in the Tissue Core. These methodologies are shared with other Mayo Clinic Cancer Center SPORE tissue cores and integrated with services offered by the Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing Core and the Pathology Research Core.

Tissue Core activities are closely coordinated with the SPORE's Clinical Research Core and with the Biostatistics Core to provide a seamless link between clinical annotations and research biospecimens.

Tissue availability

The Tissue Core also makes biospecimens available to the pancreatic cancer research community to stimulate translational research and improve the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Read more about biospecimen availability:

Requesting access

To request access to biospecimens, contact:

Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D.
Pancreatic Cancer SPORE principal investigator