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Clarient, A GE Healthcare Company, Introduces First Lab Developed Test To Assess Multiple Proteins at Single-Cell Level

GE Healthcare recently announced the introduction by Clarient Diagnostic Services, a GE Healthcare Company, of the first lab developed test using MultiOmyx™, a ground-breaking new pathology platform which uses proprietary methodology to assess multiple proteins from a single tissue section at a single-cell level. This test, now available, offers an aid to a pathologist’s diagnosis of CD30-positive lymphoma cases with difficult morphology or otherwise insufficient tissue to adequately evaluate the case.

“In many instances, suspected lymphoma cases are not straightforward, and sample tissue size inadequacy issues further complicate the matter,” said Lawrence Weiss, MD, Medical Director of Clarient. “In difficult to call diagnoses, MultiOmyx gives me great confidence in making the diagnosis and relieves me from the concern of running out of tissue. If I only have a small amount of tissue, I do not have to sacrifice or choose between important markers – I can assess them all.”

The Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) Profile by MultiOmyx helps to assess nine unique antibodies (CD30, CD15, CD20, CD45, PAX5, OCT2, BOB1, CD3, and CD79A) on a single formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue section to aid in differential diagnosis of Classical HL.

In clinical validation, this single slide assay called the Hodgkin Lymphoma Profile by MultiOmyx demonstrated high levels of accuracy, diagnostic reproducibility and repeatability, and high sensitivity of all immunofluorescent stains in comparison to traditional immunohistochemistry performed on the same samples. The correlation study identified unique cases where MultiOmyx demonstrated improved performance.

“Traditional pathology uses multiple slices from paraffin-fixed tumor samples and examines them slide by slide, which is less efficient and effective,” said Carrie Eglinton Manner, CEO, Clarient. “Using a single slide may save time, uses significantly less tissue and may provide a more consistent result. Since different parts of a tumor sample can act differently and because less tissue is required, pathologists can access the most accurate and broad tumor analysis available, while eliminating today’s need to prioritize tests due to limited tissue availability.”

The relevance of the MultiOmyx technology was recently confirmed in a clinical paper written by a team of scientists from GE Global Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The paper details the different ways GE is using image data to visualize cancer and the relationship between different biomarkers and the tumor environment and suggests the technology could be broadly applicable to problems in basic biological research, drug discovery and development and companion and clinical diagnostics.

“MultiOmyx provides clinicians and researchers with a novel biomarker multiplexing method to understand biological context in a way that is not possible with other technologies that disrupt the tissue histology. Once cells are removed from the context of their overall microenvironment with other methods valuable information is lost,” said Christine Kuslich, PhD, Chief Science Officer, In Vitro Diagnostics, GE Life Sciences. “MultiOmyx uniquely facilitates the ability to visualize multiple biological pathways, local immune response as well as heterogeneity of expression within regions of interest on a cell-by-cell basis from a single tissue section maintaining tissue context.”

The platform uses fluorescence to provide quantitative analysis of antibodies and allows for up to 60 proteins to be examined on a single tissue sample. It creates a “digital map” of the tumor, giving each cell an “address” and allowing for a clear graphic representation of protein expression. Matching this map to known biosignatures gives researchers a more accurate representation of the exact characteristics of the tumor and may provide clinicians with a clearer view to aid the diagnosis. It also allows them to identify patterns in the tissue by analyzing each cell and biomarker individually, or as a cluster, and thus get a level of understanding of the biological process that could not be achieved via traditional methods.

Study: Highly multiplexed single-cell analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cancer tissue

Source: Business Wire

Advanced Cell Diagnostics Initiates Agreement to Study Biomarkers for Cancer Immunotherapy

Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc. (ACD) announced today that they have entered into an agreement with The Johns Hopkins University on behalf of its Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins to use ACD’s proprietary RNAscope® technology platform to validate novel biomarkers and drug targets for cancer immunotherapy.

Cancer immunotherapy, which aims to mobilize a patient’s immune system to fight cancer, has been gaining momentum recently with the FDA approval of anti-CTLA-4 therapy for melanoma and with the recent impressive and durable remissions produced by targeting PD1 in multiple solid tumors in early-phase clinical trials led by Johns Hopkins investigators. With many additional immune modulatory molecules identified for targeting that play major roles in specific subsets of cancer, it will be critical to develop standardized biomarkers to guide the application of the most effective immune therapies on a patient by patient basis.

Targeting the immune checkpoints that are often suppressed in many cancers has demonstrated tremendous potential. However, to identify biomarkers useful for guiding therapy, conventional approaches to biomarker analysis have proven inadequate, leading to conflicting results.

“The complex interplay between cancer cells and the immune system in the tumor microenvironment matches perfectly with RNAscope’s capability of single molecule sensitivity and single cell resolution, which can help pinpoint which cell is talking to which other cell,” said Dr. Yuling Luo, Founder, President and CEO of ACD. Dr. Luo added, “That knowledge will be essential for selecting optimal targets for drug development and predicting which patient will benefit from it. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to provide such a tool to the pioneers in this emerging and exciting field.”

Source: Advanced Cell Diagnostics

Moffitt Researchers Identify Unique Immune Gene Signature Across Thousands of Patients’ Solid Tumors

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have discovered a unique immune gene signature that can predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures in metastatic melanoma. The presence of these immune structures, the researchers said, appears to be associated with better survival and may indicate the possibility of selecting patients for immunotherapy based solely on the immune-related makeup of their tumors as an approach to personalized medicine.

Cytokine Antibody Array Assays Developed by RayBiotech, Inc. Used to Identify Key Cancer Cell Chemoresistance Pathway

RayBiotech, Inc. announced today that several antibody-based biomarker screening assays developed by the company were utilized to identify a critical pathway involved in chemotherapeutic resistance acquired by melanoma cancer cells.

Specifically, the RayBio® G-Series 4000 and the RayBio® L-Series 507 cytokine antibody arrays allowed the characterization of a specific pathway associated with the cancer cells’ ability to develop resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. Utilizing RayBiotech’s antibody arrays, the authors discerned that the microenvironment of a melanoma tumor plays a crucial role in modulating resistance to certain cancer drugs. In addition, the arrays helped to identify individual factors acting upon cancer cells that are both necessary and sufficient to drive chemoresistance. These studies revealed unique biochemical and molecular targets for possible therapeutic intervention for the treatment and management of melanoma. The seminal research was published in Nature (Nature. 2012 Jul 26; 487:500-4).

Commenting on the research, RayBiotech’s President and Chief Operating Officer Rani Huang stated, “The findings of this research have comprehensively outlined a novel mechanism behind the acquisition of chemoresistance by one of the deadliest forms of cancer. We are pleased that RayBiotech’s antibody arrays played important roles in chemoresistance pathway characterization. This is a perfect example of how our high-content screening tools can facilitate potential drug target identification.”

Study: Tumour micro-environment elicits innate resistance to RAF inhibitors through HGF secretion

Source: Market Wire

DoD Announces Prostate Cancer Biomarker Development Award

Last month, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced a Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) Biomarker Development Award. The award supports high-impact research aimed at qualifying or validating biomarkers for rapid transfer to clinical practice for prostate cancer.