Pancreatic Cancer SPORE Grant Core Resources

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

The four cores in the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE are:

Core 1. Administrative Core

Director: Gloria M. Petersen, Ph.D.

The Administrative Core provides organizational support for the leadership of the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE, 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.

Specifically, the Administrative Core:

Core 2: 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 SPORE cores. The Biostatistics Core builds on the innovative and time-tested procedures and systems developed by Mayo Clinic.

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

Core 3: Clinical Research Core

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

The Clinical Research Core combines the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE's Patient Registry activities with activities that support clinical studies being conducted in the SPORE's four translational research projects.

Using ultrarapid case finding, the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE's Patient Registry accrues about 325 participants a year, with a total of more than 4,500 registered patients. Mayo Clinic diagnoses or treats an estimated 500 pancreatic cancer patients each year across its three campuses in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona. In addition, the registry includes data on 1,513 participants that are age-, sex-, race- and region-matched.

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.

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 clinical trials
  • Maintains the ultrarapid case recruitment and registry of pancreatic cancer patients at all three Mayo Clinic campuses
  • Serves as a resource for future developmental research and career development research projects

Core 4: Tissue Core

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

The Tissue Core provides Pancreatic Cancer SPORE investigators with high-quality patient data, DNA, RNA, serum, circulating tumor cells, and pancreas tissues from pancreatic cancer patients.

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 Pancreatic Cancer SPORE 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 Pancreatic Cancer SPORE's Clinical Research Core and with the Biostatistics Core to provide a seamless link between clinical annotations and research biospecimens. The Tissue Core is also integrated with the Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing Core, the Pathology Research Core and the SPORE cores to provide a centralized, dedicated program for standardized collection, accessioning, processing, and evaluation of biospecimens and data from pancreatic cancer patients.

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:

To request access to Pancreatic Cancer SPORE biospecimens, contact:

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