UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Biobehavioral Oncology Services

The BOF uses published and validated assay methodologies refined and standardized in the laboratory to provide rapid and reliable results of high specificity and sensitivity with blood, saliva, and urine samples.

Our services are available to investigators at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center as well as investigators at any nonprofit laboratory/institution in the United States by arrangement with the Facility Director.

Assay List

Analyte Measurements:

  • Catecholamines* (epinepherine, norepinephrine, and dopamine) in plasma, urine and platelets by HPLC using electrochemical detection
  • Cytokines, chemokines, hormones and other soluble factors in serum and plasma by ELISA and multiplex platforms
  • Cortisol in saliva, plasma, and urine by ELISA
  • Creatinine and electrolytes (Na+, K+) in urine**
  • Cotinine, 3-OH cotinine, and nicotine in urine

Oxidative Stress Measurements:

  • 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy guanosine (8-OHdG) in DNA, plasma and urine
  • Alkaline Comet assay (single-stranded DNA damage assay)
  • Gamma H2AX using confocal microscopy

Telomere-Related Measurements:

  • Telomerase activity levels in cultured cells and lymphocytes
  • Telomere length determinations in cultured cells and lymphocytes

New assay development available upon request

*Catecholamines are widely used in biobehavioral studies as independent measures of acute and/or chronic stress. Catecholamine levels in urine or platelet collection reflect the average levels over a period of time, while levels in plasma reflect short-term or acute levels.

**Creatinine is commonly used as an internal control for the amount of urine in each sample.