Developmental Therapeutics Core
Under the umbrella of The Center for Developmental Therapeutics (CDT), the Developmental Therapeutics Core (DTC) provides an operational laboratory that supports translational projects and fulfills the needs of the research community for exploratory drug development work. The aim is to rapidly and efficiently advance novel therapeutic interventions from basic research to the clinic.
- Proliferation and Apoptosis Assays
More than 200 cell lines are available for in vitro testing, including for determination of drug IC50 values. DTC is also able to assess the effects of therapeutics on cells grown in 3D culture or on organoid cultures.
- Exploratory PK and Tox
Exploratory pharmacokinetics analysis can be incorporated into therapy-response experiments through organ and tissue harvest of treated animal subjects at pre-determined time points during treatment. Many DTC projects require and include determination of therapeutic maximum tolerated dose (MTD) prior to initiating a therapy-response experiment. Repeated Dose, 7-day or 14-day, in addition to constant drug exposure via Alzet mini-pumps are also offered.
- Therapy-Response Experiments
Core personnel provide expert guidance in determining the most appropriate models for evaluating the anti-cancer activities of compounds and biologicals of interest. Services include: experimental design consultation, IACUC protocol amendment write-up, animal procurement, model setup (inoculating animals with the cells obtained from culture or from PDX), treatment compound administration, and monitoring tumor growth and response to treatment.
- Patient-Derived Cancer Models
PDX models offer the closest approximation to the clinical setting for testing cancer therapies, other than immunotherapies. The PDX repository within the Core currently contains 33 PDX models representing 10 cancer histology. Additional PDX types are being developed.
- Device Implantation and Monitoring
The core works with investigators to implant and evaluate new devices in vivo and after submission and approval of an IACUC protocol. The devices can then be tested periodically. Additionally, the core can evaluate toxicity and evaluate the device using different imaging modalities in collaboration with other cores.
- Systemic Drug Administration
Oral gavage, intraperitoneal, intravenous, or continuous (osmotic mini pump).
The core has IACUC-approved protocols for both mice and rabbits immunization assays.
All manuscripts and grants presenting work supported by DTC should include the following acknowledgment:
"This work was supported by the Developmental Therapeutics Core at Northwestern University and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center support grant (NCI CA060553).”