In Vivo Therapeutics Core

The In Vivo Therapeutics Core (IVTC) is a multi-hub shared resource facility of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. The IVTC was established to facilitate the discovery and testing of novel pharmacological & cellular therapies. The IVTC is divided into five hubs of research expertise:

  • state-of-the-art equipment for cancer research
  • breeding of specialized mouse strains
  • preclinical toxicity and efficacy testing in xenograft models
  • patient-derived xenografts
  • hematopoietic stem-cell transplant studies

As a centralized facility, the IVTC provides IU Simon Cancer Center investigators with advanced resources for analytical and investigational studies essential for the validation of novel drug targets and biomarkers of cancer required for future investigator-initiated trials. The core's aims are:

Specific Aim 1: To maintain on-site breeding colonies of mice and establish patient-derived xenografts essential for the exploration, testing and refinement of novel cancer therapeutics. Cost-effective on-site breeding facilities of prioritized mouse strains and validated in vivo cancer xenograft models facilitates the discovery and testing of novel pharmacological and cellular therapies. The IVTC will continue to work closely with research teams to establish and characterize adult and pediatric patient-derived xenografts. 

Specific Aim 2: To provide specialized core services, technology and consultation to IU Simon Cancer Center investigators. IVTC personnel will oversee ectopic/orthotopic xenograft model set-up, including dosing, monitoring and necropsy. The IVTC will work with IU Simon Cancer Center research teams to coordinate timely delivery of mice and samples to other core facilities within the cancer center and IU School of Medicine. The IVTC manages the radiation facility and will perform irradiation services needed for in vitro and in vivo experiments, including hematopoietic stem-cell transplantations. The IVTC will coordinate all aspects of procedures and provide assistance with experimental design, regulatory requirements, methodology and data interpretation for each research hub. Shared equipment maintained by the IVTC provides investigators the means to simulate in vivo conditions. A hypoxia work station and recently acquired IncuCyteZOOM Live-Cell Imaging System are available for direct use or in partnership with technical staff in the IVTC. As new animal modeling technologies and imaging become available, they will be incorporated to meet IU Simon Cancer Center needs.

Specific Aim 3: To serve as an educational resource for IU Simon Cancer Center investigators and trainees. As outlined, exceptional connectivity between the IVTC and other IU Simon Cancer Center cores will not only augment the research but also the education of cancer center investigators and their students. To train the next generation of scientists, the IVTC participates in training of students on services and technology as well as enrichment events for students throughout the year.