Astronomy meets pathology to identify predictive biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy

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Sumary of Astronomy meets pathology to identify predictive biomarkers for cancer immunotherapy:

  • A new platform, called AstroPath, melds astronomic image analysis and mapping with pathology specimens to analyze microscopic images of tumors..
  • Immunofluorescent imaging, using antibodies with fluorescent tags, enables researchers to visualize multiple cellular proteins simultaneously and determine their pattern and strength of expression..
  • PD-1 (programmed cell death 1) is a protein found on immune system T cells which, when bound to another protein called PD-L1 (programmed death ligand), helps cancer cells evade attack by the immune system..
  • Only some patients with melanoma respond to anti-PD-1 therapy, and the ability to predict response or resistance is critical to choosing the best treatments for each patient’s cancer, the researchers explain..
  • The AstroPath platform is also being applied to study in lung cancer and potentially can provide therapeutic guidance for many other cancers..
  • “For the last 40 years, pathology analysis of cancer has examined one marker at a time, which provides limited information..
  • Leveraging new technology, including instrumentation to image up to 12 markers simultaneously, the AstroPath imaging algorithms provide 1,000 times the information content from a single biopsy than is currently available through routine pathology..
  • This facilates precision cancer immunotherapy — identifying the unique features of each patient’s cancer to predict who will respond to a given immunotherapy, such as anti-PD-1, and who will not….

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