Services

The CEL provides support for both clinical diagnostic testing as well as for clinical research studies at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (HMC). In addition, the CEL extends its testing support to a number of clinical investigators at other universities. A few of the institutions utilizing CEL services include the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center, Ohio State University Clinical Research Center and the Population Council at Rockefeller University in New York. The CEL also carries out an educational mission through its weekly CEL conferences at which test results are reviewed and discussed with medical house staff, residents and medical students. Another part of the CEL's extramural support are contracts with pharmaceutical houses and diagnostic companies. These activities focus on the support of clinical drug trials and evaluations of reagents and instruments. To learn more about these services choose from the topics below.

The CEL's primary goal is to provide state of the art, low cost, quality endocrine testing for the clinicians and investigators here at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (HMC). The HMC Endocrine division is a busy university based practice that treats a diverse population of patients from the central Pennsylvania area and beyond. The CEL was founded over 15 years ago in an attempt to offer our physicians a laboratory that could perform the esoteric testing required for diagnosing and treating endocrine diseases. Today the CEL still functions in that capacity by offering a test menu designed specifically for the clinician's needs. In addition our support now extends to an IVF clinic, a Clinical Research Center and a Cancer Center, all located here at the Hershey Medical Center. These programs study areas of endocrinology including endocrine oncology (i.e. breast and prostate cancer), metabolic bone disease, prenatal testing, diabetes and women's health.

The CEL also extends to area physicians the same testing and interpretative services offered to our clinical house staff.

The CEL is one of the few laboratories in the country to offer expertise in such a broad range of endocrine testing for both adult and pediatric based clinical research. Especially noteworthy is our ability to provide urine gonadotropin testing which incorporates the pulsatility of gonadotropin excretion for proper result interpretation in normal children and those with suspected gonadal disorders. The CEL has expertise in the measurement of blood and urine prostaglandins and leukotrienes for clinical diagnostic and investigative purposes. Additionally, the CEL performs steroid biochemistry including the analysis of over 20 esoteric steroids such as estrone, estrone sulfate, and 17 OH-progesterone. The CEL has provided clinical research testing support in the last 15 years to over three dozen universities, hospitals, clinics and institutes throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

The CEL functions as an educational resource for the Penn State University College of Medicine. Each week Dr. Demers and the attending endocrinologist present a CEL conference which is designed to teach the medical residents and students about the utilization, methodology and significance of endocrine testing. All of the clinical results generated for the week are reviewed and discussed in a small group that is very conducive to question and answer. In addition a clinical rotation through the endocrine service with access to the CEL is available to the medical house staff, Medicine and Pathology residents and medical students.

The CEL contracts with pharmaceutical companies to evaluate the efficacy and safety of drugs that target endocrine based diseases. These studies have largely focused on steroid biochemistry and the determination of blood and urine estradiol and estrone levels using ultra-sensitive methods to detect the suppressed, postmenopausal levels. Several Phase I and Phase III studies have been carried out with companies such as Ciba Geigy, US Bioscience, Zeneca, Merrel Dow and Pharmacia. These projects examined the efficacy and potency of aromatase inhibitors used for second line therapy of breast cancer. The CEL staff is experienced in all aspects of clinical trial hormone analysis and is able to customize its support for each individual study. Please learn more about some specific drug studies that the CEL was involved in by visiting the Projects/Contracts section. The CEL also functions as a trial site for pre-FDA approval evaluation of instruments and reagents for diagnostic companies. Abbott Laboratories, Dupont, Behring Diagnostics, Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, INCstar and Hybritech are a few companies that have contracted testing and evaluation support from the CEL.