CCOGC BackgroundIn June of 2004, an informal collaboration of veterinary and medical oncologists, pathologists, surgeons, geneticists, and molecular and cellular biologists emerged at a meeting hosted by the Broad Institute, in Boston, MA. These investigators shared a common interest, the comparative study of canine and human genomics and cancer. With the imminent availability of a high quality canine genome assembly, they sought to leverage opportunities that would result from a better defined understanding of the genetics and biology of cancers in companion animals, to provide a forum for discussion and sharing of resources and reagents, and to guide the development of novel technologies that would allow the study and use of appropriate canine cancers in the global study of cancer biology and therapy. Over the ensuing months this collaboration named itself the Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium (CCOGC) and began drafting an agenda and list of priorities. In 2007 the CCOGC incorporated as a Not-For-Profit and obtained 501(c)3 status. The goals of the CCOGC are to facilitate strategic partnerships and collaborations across a diversity of disciplines, focused on the problem of cancer in dogs. Early priorities of the CCOGC include advocacy for the field of Comparative Oncology, the development of a mechanism to share reagents and resources in the community, and the development of a biospecimen repository.
Biospecimen RepositoryCCOGC collaborators determined that an essential resource needed in the field was the development of well-described repository of tissues (tumor and normal) from tumor bearing dogs. To be optimally useful this biospecimen repository would be:
- Focused on specific cancers of interest to the field
- Centrally housed with multiple contributors
- Populated with prospectively collected tissues and fluids
- Annotated with robust parallel clinical data-base
- Managed through a web-enabled entry and retrieval port
- Publicly accessible based on scientific merit or requesting individuals
Based on this the repository has begun with a goal of collecting tissues and fluids from 3,000 dogs with specific cancer types over a three-year period. The specific cancers will represent those that are not only major problems in the dog population, but which are also have comparative value in human cancer investigation. Universal and cancer specific standard operative procedures have been defined for the collections. The bank is housed centrally within a contract biospecimen repository in Frederick Maryland with contributors including qualified schools of veterinary medicine in the United States.
Biospecimen Repository Physical Structure and ProceduresThe Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository has received support from the intramural National Cancer Institute to establish and maintain a physical bank in Frederick Maryland and to have this bank linked to a web-enabled interface for access to tissues.
The physical bank is managed by Fisher Bioservices and is part of the NCI Frederick Central Repository Services. The facility is over 33,000 sq ft, has 24-hour temperature monitoring, four 250KW generators, and back-up generators. The bank consists of -80C freezers, chemical storage for formalin fixed and paraffin embedded tissues, bar coding hard and soft ware and web enabled sample management system. The bioinformatics platform for the repository includes a relational database that will connect clinical information on samples entered to the study with a front and back end retrieval system. Biological data derived from samples in the Biospecimen Repository are uploaded into the bioinformatics database and become part of the progressive value of the Repository. It is expected that the value of this biological data will exceed the physical value of tissues over time.
The biospecimen repository houses tumor tissue, normal tissues, serum, plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cell preparations, genomic DNA, RNA and urine samples. Each of the 3000 cases will have tumor and normal tissue collected and processed in both ethanol and two frozen formats (both flash frozen and OCT embedded). The repository follows many parts of the organization and structure of the proposed National Biospecimen Network Blueprint1. Standard operating procedures of tissue/sample collection have been established and are subject to annual review.
Pfizer CCOGC Biospecimen Repository Tissues
It was decided that the specific cancers to be selected should represent those that were not only major problems in the dog population, but which also have significant comparative value in human cancer investigation. Accordingly cancer specific goals included the collection of 600 samples each from dogs with lymphoma, osteosarcoma and melanoma. Samples collected from each patient will include tumor, normal tissue, blood, and urine. An additional 1,200 samples represent four other histologies including soft tissue sarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumors, and pulmonary tumors (300 each), selected in consultation with the broader community and sponsoring agencies.
The CCOGC is now accepting applications. Please visit www.ccogc.net for more information and to access the application.
Collection Site SelectionThe Pfizer CCOGC Biospecimen Repository has initiated collection of tissues at seven institutions (Colorado State University, The Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tufts University, University of Missouri, University of California at Davis, and Michigan State University). Institutional sites were selected by competitive review of applications responding to a CCOGC RFP. Sites were selected based on case-load, experience with sample collection, personnel and physical infrastructure, and institutional commitment to the banking effort.