One of the biggest questions in immuno-oncology is figuring out how patients will respond to immunotherapy. Approaches like single-plex immunohistochemical stains don’t capture enough information to accurately predict response. To help solve this challenge, researchers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) developed AstroPath, a novel platform which combines the Phenoptics multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) workflow with sky-mapping algorithms derived from astronomy to perform deep spatial profiling of microscopic tumor sections.
In a groundbreaking study recently published in Science, the JHU team used AstroPath to build two-dimensional maps of the tumor microenvironment in metastatic melanoma, identifying a composite spatial phenotypic signature that is highly predictive of response to anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and patient outcome.
The paper describes a strategy for multispectral multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) assay development and image analysis for the generation of large, standardized datasets to facilitate immuno-oncology biomarker discovery.