Traslational Oncopharmacology Unit

The traslational oncopharmacology laboratory has recently been created (april 2007) in response to the needs of several groups of our institute that work on antitumor drug development. This unit performs screening of antitumoral activities of drugs, mainly in haematological disorders. The unit has given support to both internal research groups, but also to some pharma and biotech companies, as well as to researchers from other academic/ government institutions outside our Institute. The unit is also part of the Spanish Network of Cancer Research Centers (RTICC), integrated into the Horizontal Program on Translational Cancer Research. A web page is already prepared detailing the services offered by the unit (Oncopharmacology Web).

• MTT uptake assay in 24w, 48 w and 96 w microtiter plates. MTT uptake experiments are used to initially assess drug activity on tumoral cells.
• BrdU Cell Proliferation Assay. BrdU uptake experiments are used sporadically to assess drug activity on tumoral cells.
• Bioluminescence Assay. Two types of protocols are usually performed. One is based on the incubation of the agent of interest in the presence of bone marrow cells. In this case, BM cells from patients or the HS-5 cell line can be used. Thelatter is preferred as it gives more consistent and less variable results. The second experimental setting consists on the incubation of the agent together with growth factors, such as IL-6 or IGF-I. Both protocols are designed to test whether drug was able to overcome the protective effect of the BM microenvironment.
• Apoptosis assays (Annexin V-FITC). Annexin V staining experiments are used to initially asses the action of drugs on apoptosis of tumoral cells.
• Cell cycle analyses (Propidium Iodide). Cell cycle experiments are used to initially assess whether adrug interferes with cell cycle progression.
• Western blot. The effect induced by the drug(s) treatment on the most important cell signaling and proliferation pathways as Erk, PI3K/AKT, NFkB or JAK/STAT are evaluated by Western-Blot.
• Analyses of the results. Once the data are available, most of the external customers ask for counseling about how to further proceed based on the data generated.
• Murine Model Assay. In vivo studies of the activity of some drugs and drug combinations using mouse models may be required. Usually a set is required for control, placebotreated animals, and several additional sets for different doses of a single drug or combination of drugs.
• Design of strategic assays (advice and acquisition of material and reagents). In addition to the advice once the data have been generated, sometimes new and specialized assays have to be set-up. This, together with counseling for unexperienced customers, is required. A detailed description of the experimental protocols is listed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the unit. A web page is already prepared detailing the services offered by the unit. The facility itself and its experimental protocols have been certified by ISO9001. The Occupational Health and Safety Management System of the facility has been also certified using the OHSAS18001 system.

Strategic Objectives
We offer a suitable service to the demand that allows the translation into the clinics of new clinical antitumor drugs acting on different cellular targets. In addition, an increase in the ability to predict their biological behavior in different tumor types is also pursued.

In addition to counseling services performed and conducted by staff of the unit it has also been implemented in 2009 the Quality Certification ISO 9001 to improve the scientific output of the unit and provide reliability and traceability studies.

Goals for the future
To ensure quality services and fulfill the purpose of the LOT indicated above in this document.

Among the equipment of the unit are included:
BECKMAN Refrigerated Centrifuge,
Heraeus CO2 Incubator, Biological
Safety Cabinet TELSTAR BIO-II-A, Nikon
Microscope for cell culture, BOECO
PSU 2T plate shaker and OS-20 Orbital
Shaker, ASYS UVM 340 Reader plate reader with the ASYS Software DigiRead / Scan plus, Bunsen Water Bath, Zeiss inverted microscope, equipment for electrophoresis, freezers (-80°C), liquid nitrogen tank at -180°C, etc. It is also available all the equipment present at the IBMCC, where the unit is located.ez

Scientific Coordinator

Atanasio Pandiella. Tel.: 923 294 815. (E-mail: atanasio@usal.es)

Location and contact

Unidad de Oncofarmacología Traslacional
Centro de Investigación del Cáncer
(CSIC-Universidad de Salamanca)
Campus Universitario Miguel de Unamuno s/n
E- 37007 Salamanca (ESPAÑA)
Tel.: 923 294 720 / ext. 3043