The Cancer Center Isolation Facility is a 30,000-square-foot, stand-alone building dedicated to cancer research that provides a physical plant able to support work with hazardous materials at biosafety level 2 or 3, recombinant DNA, chemotherapeutics, as well as the maintenance of immunosuppressed and specific pathogen-free rodents.
The building includes:
- 8 modules containing: 3 lead-lined rooms, 27 animal holding rooms, and 6 laboratories
- support areas for mechanical equipment, e.g., cage washing equipment, and
- 22 operational autoclaves.
Each of the eight modules has an airlock to ensure containment and prevent cross-contamination. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system provides 100 percent fresh HEPA-filtered supply air to the modules. Exhaust air is not recirculated and is HEPA filtered prior to being exhausted from each module. Class 1, 2, and 3 biosafety cabinets are available in these modules for handling hazardous chemical and biological materials. Charcoal filters are used with HEPA filters to exhaust air from the rooms where chemical carcinogens are handled.
Each module is equipped with double-door pass-through autoclaves and double-door pass-through boxes to decontaminate equipment. The support areas include:
- two cage washrooms equipped with two double-length rack washers and a glass washer
- locker rooms and lavatories for men and women
- administrative offices, a break room, an environmental services closet, and
- staging area for the preparation and storage of equipment
Biologically contaminated liquid waste is collected in two 2600-gallon underground concrete effluent tanks where it is treated with concentrated chlorine for two hours to achieve decontamination before disposal. Hazardous solid wastes are steam sterilized. An incinerator is available for incinerating chemical carcinogen waste.
The CCIF is staffed with 14 Comparative Medicine Specialist (CMS) technicians, who provide animal husbandry and support services for the facility. All animals receive health assessments and any necessary veterinary care daily, including weekends and holidays.