Join us in Leuven for the Tumor Heterogeneity, Plasticity and Therapy Conference.
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Tumors are complex and evolving ecosystems composed of a wide variety of cell types, in addition to the cancer cells themselves. Increasing evidence indicates that the bi-directional interplay between tumor cells and their tumor microenvironment shape tumor evolution and therapy resistance.
Within a tumor, many cancer cells differ from each at the (epi-)genomic, transcriptional, and proteomic level, as well as phenotypically and functionally. Tumor heterogeneity represents a major hurdle for therapy, which may only target a subset of tumor cells. In addition, cancer cell plasticity permits rapid adaption to therapeutics and the development of tolerance and resistance, presenting additional challenges for both targeted and immunotherapies.
During this conference, a range of world leaders from academia and industry will discuss the latest developments in basic research, translational and clinical research, and therapeutic avenues.
1:30 - 2:30 PM
Background: In the past decade, anti-cancer therapies that target immune system have seen increasing clinical success (PMID: 34624224, PMID: 29990692). To further innovate and improve such therapeutical interventions, more detailed knowledge of the tissue-immune cell interaction is needed (PMID: 33811120). Spatial proteomics provides detailed views on cell phenotypes in the spatial tissue context (PMID: 34811556) and can be insightful for therapy design (PMID: 32466969). Sequential Immunofluorescence (seqIF™) is a novel method, where cycles of antibody-based detection of antigens, imaging, and elution steps are fully automated and integrated on the COMET™ platform. Here, we present how the seqIF™ methodology can be applied to map immune cells across different tumor immune microenvironments (TIME) and underpin their activation states.
Methods: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded and frozen section tissue slides were interrogated with hyperplex panels focusing on immune cell biomarkers and using off-the-shelf reagents. SeqIF™ was performed with automated staining-imaging COMET™ platform generating ome-tiff images. HORIZON™ Image analysis software was used for image postprocessing.
Results: The analyses enabled the identification of several immune cell phenotypes and provided sufficient resolution to identify the subcellular distribution of detected biomarkers while preserving tissue morphology.
Conclusions: SeqIF™ supports in-depth TIME studies that aims identifying cell phenotypes at single-cell resolution, while preserving the spatial context crucial in understanding the complex intercellular interactions. Our data highlights the potential of using such microfluidics-based approaches in research focusing on TIME.