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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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.

Services Offered

  • 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 with 7-day or 14-day Repeated Dose 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, animal procurement, inoculating mice with the cells obtained from culture or from PDX, therapy administration to animals, 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 >60 PDX models representing 12 cancer histology and additional types are being developed.
  • Device Implantation and Monitoring
    • The core works with the investigators to implant and evaluate new devices in vivo through submission and approval of an IACUC protocol to surgical implantation. The core can then test the device, evaluate toxicity, and/or work with other cores and different imaging modalities.


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).”


Irawati Kandela  
Assistant Director



Silverman Hall B715
2170 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL60208