Can digital spatial profiling technology enhance therapeutic strategies for cancer patients?
Luke Turner |
What is the goal of our ongoing quest to discover new biomarkers for cancer therapy? Collectively, we want to improve personalized therapy for our patients. It may sound straightforward, but for oncologists trying to unravel the complexities of patients’ tumors, heterogeneity presents a challenge. Tumor cells often behave differently depending on their location, which means that a single tissue sample may contain several cell types, making interpretation complicated. Worse yet, some cell types may not be present in the sample at all – meaning that a personalized treatment strategy might not tackle a patient’s entire tumor.
Digital spatial profiling (DSP), a novel barcoding approach, aims to address some of these issues by extracting more data from a single tissue sample, potentially overcoming a consistent limiting factor in tumor analysis. “The high plex capabilities of DSP technology enabled us to interrogate many more potential biomarkers than would have been possible on these very small tissue biopsies with standard or multiplexed immunohistochemistry approaches,” says Christian Blank of the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Blank used the technology to investigate how the pre-existing immune status of stage III melanoma predicts treatment response (1).
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