Publications & Posters


A structured tumor-immune microenvironment in triple negative breast cancer revealed by multiplexed ion beam imaging
Abstract: The immune system is critical in modulating cancer progression, but knowledge of immune composition, phenotype, and interactions with tumor is limited. We used multiplexed ion beam imaging by time-of-flight (MIBI-TOF) to simultaneously quantify in situ expression of 36 proteins covering identity, function, and immune regulation at sub-cellular resolution in 41 triple-negative breast cancer patients. Multi-step processing, including deep-learning-based segmentation, revealed variability in the composition of tumor-immune populations across individuals, reconciled by overall immune infiltration and en-riched co-occurrence of immune subpopulations and checkpoint expression. Spatial enrichment analysis showed immune mixed and compartmentalized tumors, coinciding with expression of PD1, PD-L1, and IDO in a cell-type- and location-specific manner. Ordered immune structures along the tumor-immune border were associated with compartmentalization and linked to survival. These data demonstrate organization in the tumor-immune microenvironment that is structured in cellular composition, spatial arrangement, and regulatory-protein expression and provide a framework to apply multiplexed imaging to immune oncology.

Keren et al. Cell, Volume 174, Issue 6, P1373-1387. E19. September 06, 2018

doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.08.039

Tissue imaging by mass spectrometry: a practical guide for the medicinal chemist

Abstract: Understanding the tissue distribution of therapeutic molecules is often critical for assessing their efficacy and toxicity. Unfortunately, standard methods for monitoring localized drug distribution are resource-intensive and are typically performed late in the discovery process. As a result, early development efforts often progress without detailed information on the effect that changes in structure and/or formulation have on drug localization. Recent innovations in mass spectrometry (MS) provide new options for mapping the spatial distribution of drug in tissue, and allow parallel detection of endogenous species. These advances are improving access to drug distribution data early in discovery, and provide insight into local biochemical changes that are directly related to drug activity. The literature on these topics is voluminous and the technology is advancing rapidly, offering a bewildering array of options for researchers who are new to the field. To guide medicinal chemists who wish to apply these methods in their research, this technology perspective provides our views on practical applications that are currently enabled by various MS imaging (MSI) approaches, along with recommendations for how best to implement these methods in pharmaceutical R&D.

Johnson et al. ACS Medical Chemistry Letters. January, 2019

Link to publication

Multiplexed ion beam imaging analysis for quantitation of protein expression in cancer tissue sections
Abstract: Part of developing therapeutics is the need to identify patients who will respond to treatment. For HER2-targeted therapies, such as trastuzumab, the expression level of HER2 is used to identify patients likely to receive benefit from therapy. Currently, chromogenic immunohistochemistry on patient tumor tissue is one of the methodologies used to assess the expression level of HER2 to determine eligibility for trastuzumab. However, chromogenic staining is fraught with serious drawbacks that influence scoring, which is additionally flawed due to the subjective nature of human/pathologist bias. Thus, to advance drug development and precision medicine, there is a need to develop technologies that are more objective and quantitative through the collection and integration of larger data sets. In proof of concept experiments, we show multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI), a novel imaging technology, can quantitate HER2 expression on breast carcinoma tissue with known HER2 status and those values correlate with pathologist-determined IHC scores. The same type of quantitative analysis using the mean pixel value of five individual cells and total pixel count of the entire image was extended to a blinded study of breast carcinoma samples of unknown HER2 scores. Here, a strong correlation between quantitation of HER2 by MIBI analysis and pathologist-derived HER2 IHC score was identified. In addition, a comparison between MIBI analysis and immunofluorescence-based automated quantitative analysis (AQUA) technology, an industry-accepted quantitation system, showed strong correlation in the same blind study. Further comparison of the two systems determined MIBI was comparable to AQUA analysis when evaluated against pathologist-determined scores. Using HER2 as a model, these data show MIBI analysis can quantitate protein expression with greater sensitivity and objectivity compared to standard pathologist interpretation, demonstrating its potential as a technology capable of advancing cancer and patient diagnostics.

Rost et al. LAb Invest. 2017 Aug;97(8):992-1003

doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2017.50.


Multiplexed ion beam imaging of human breast tumors
Abstract: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a tool for visualizing protein expression that is employed as part of the diagnostic workup for the majority of solid tissue malignancies. Existing IHC methods use antibodies tagged with fluorophores or enzyme reporters that generate colored pigments. Because these reporters exhibit spectral and spatial overlap when used simultaneously, multiplexed IHC is not routinely used in clinical settings. We have developed a method that uses secondary ion mass spectrometry to image antibodies
tagged with isotopically pure elemental metal reporters. Multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI) is capable of analyzing up to 100 targets simultaneously over a five-log dynamic range. Here, we used MIBI to analyze formalin-fixed,
paraffin-embedded human breast tumor tissue sections stained with ten labels simultaneously. The resulting data suggest that MIBI can provide new insights into disease pathogenesis that will be valuable for basic research,
drug discovery and clinical diagnostics.

Angelo et al. Nature Medecine 2014 Apr;20(4):436-42.

doi: 10.1038/nm.3488. Epub 2014 Mar 2.

Next-gen immunohistochemistry
Rimm.  Nature Methods 2014 11pages381–383 (2014)

doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2896


SITC 2018 – P106

Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging For Characterization of the Tumor Microenvironment Across Tumor Types

SITC Jason poster image

SITC 2018 – P20

A Structured Tumor Immune Microenvironment in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Revealed by Multiplexed Imaging

SITC Sean poster image

Pathology Visions 2018

Web Application for Management & Visualization of Highly Multiplexed Imaging Data

Digital pathology poster
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