The National Cancer Institute's Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals (RTLA) is an archived collection of biological materials and associated historical data submitted from worldwide sources since 1965. Formerly housed at the Smithsonian Institution and George Washington University, the RTLA is now maintained by Experimental Pathology Laboratories in Sterling, Virginia. Among Its 7,600+ case accessions are a wealth of pathological specimens from wild and captive aquatic animals including fishes, turtles, frogs, bivalve mollusks, crustaceans, and corals. Materials available for viewing and/or distribution include stained and unstained glass slides, paraffin blocks, and wet tissues, and the RTLA facility is also home to an extensive collection of scientific reprints. Although neoplastic disease is the emphasis of the collection, many non-neoplastic conditions such as parasitic, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections are also represented.
Under-utilized in recent years, the RTLA is reaching out to the scientific community via a newly renovated interactive web site, training workshops, post-doctoral internships, and diagnostic consultation. This presentation will highlight potential roles of the RTLA in carcinogenesis and toxicological research, and in addition, several recent novel or noteworthy cases will be described.