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Inside the Lab Microbiology and immunology, Microscopy and imaging, Oncology, Software and hardware

Context Matters In Cancer Biology

sponsored by Akoya Biosciences

In the world of cancer biology, context matters. As The Spatial Biology Company®, Akoya Biosciences’ mission is to bring context to the world of biology and human health through the power of spatial phenotyping. The company offers comprehensive single-cell imaging solutions that allow researchers to phenotype cells with spatial context and visualize how they organize and interact to influence disease progression and treatment response. There is an unmet need in immuno-oncology; the average response rate of 20–30 percent is a clear indication that we need better biomarkers to predict which individuals will respond to treatment and, in turn, improve patient care.

That’s why Akoya Biosciences is leading the charge – offering whole-slide imaging solutions that empower pathologists to discover novel signatures in the tumor microenvironment. Spatial phenotypic signatures are a novel biomarker class for characterizing solid tumors and predicting immunotherapy response. These wholeslide, image-based, quantitative biomarkers measure the interactions and cell densities of tumor and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment – helping laboratory medicine professionals identify the best treatments for their patients.

Unraveling the complexity and dynamics of the tumor microenvironment requires assessing a variety of tumor and immunological biomarkers. By leveraging Akoya Biosciences’ PhenoImager HT™ system for multispectral imaging, researchers can undertake rapid and accurate spatial phenotyping.

Furthermore, using Akoya’s novel biomarkers for multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF)-based spatial phenotyping can reveal the relationship between immune cells and tumor cells, leading to the discovery of unique spatial phenotypic signatures while preserving the architectural features of the tumor microenvironment. Recent research has also demonstrated the high intra-and inter-laboratory concordance of spatial phenotypic signatures when measuring the densities, coexpression, and proximity parameters of immune cells (1) – and, with PhenoImager HTTM powered by proprietary multispectral imaging technology for mIF as the fastest quantitative digital pathology imaging platform, pathologists can rapidly and accurately spatial phenotype at scale.

The importance of spatial phenotypic signatures and mIF in the pathologist’s day-to-day work is clear: they are highly predictive of a patient’s response rate to immunotherapy with high concordance across labs. These tools enable pathologists to identify appropriate patients and offer them the right treatment – and Akoya Biosciences will help you get there.

Images provided by Akoya Biosciences.

To learn more about spatial signatures, visit:

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  1. JM Taube et al., J Immunother Cancer, 8, e000155 (2020). PMID: 32414858.
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