Our CEO, Brian McKelligon, started off the presentations with a quick introduction about Akoya, our history, and how the CODEX® and Phenoptics™ platforms complement each other to support research from discovery to the translational and clinical phases. CODEX® integrates with existing fluorescence microscopes to image up to 40 markers per tissue sample for hypothesis-free biomarker discovery. The Phenoptics™ platform is the industry standard for rapid, high throughput multiplexed IHC (mIHC).
We then heard from Victoria Duckworth, Product Manager for Phenoptics™ Panels and Kits, who introduced our new Opal™ MOTiF™ PD-1/PD-L1 Panel Kits. These six-plex, seven-color panels have been validated on melanoma and lung cancer samples, with ready-to-use primary and secondary antibodies automated for third-party autostainers. Victoria explained how same-day image analysis is made possible with pre-optimized acquisition protocols for the Vectra® Polaris™ System and pre-configured algorithms for the inForm® software package. Together, this workflow provides the only complete and turn-key multiplex IHC solution for immuno-oncology translational research.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’re hosting a webinar on Dec 17th to discuss our new panel kits and share some tips for customizing with your own antibodies. Register here.
Opal™ MoTiF™ PD-1/PD-L1 Melanoma Panel
Next up was Cliff Hoyt, VP of Translational Programs and Scientific Affairs. His talk focused on cross-validation of biomarkers between CODEX® and Phenoptics™, so our customers can easily translate their findings across platforms as their studies move along the continuum from discovery to translational and clinical research.
Cliff revealed the results of a comparative study between CODEX® and Opal™ staining on serial sections of tonsil and lung cancer tissue samples. The 28-plex CODEX® panel included all markers from the 6-plex Opal™ panel. Both methods detected the same cell phenotypes and displayed similar marker frequencies, demonstrating that these two approaches can be made analytically equivalent. There were some slight differences in the results. For example, while PD-L1 was amplified in both methods and delivered equivalent results, PD-1 was amplified on Opal™, but not CODEX® , accounting for the difference in signal intensity. To address these discrepancies, Cliff described how we’ve added amplification to CODEX® detection through a novel amplification method.
This cross-platform comparison provides a conceptual framework for biomarkers discovered on the CODEX® platform to be translated to the Phenoptics™ platform for high-throughput translational studies. We will be launching a new CODEX® reagent offering in 2020 to amplify key immuno-oncology markers in the tumor microenvironment.
Our final speaker was Dr. Robert Pierce, the Scientific Director of the Immunopathology Lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In his presentation, he described how he and his collaborators utilized the Phenoptics™ platform to glean important spatial insights into the tumor microenvironment. The focus of his talk was the immunosuppressive role of myeloid cells in the tumor microenvironment and in regulating treatment response.
His data showed that tumor-associated macrophages, or “badophages”, can distinguish prognosis in multiple tumor types and facilitate metastasis in the MISTRG melanoma model, a mouse model repopulated with a human immune system. In another study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), spatial analysis was used to identify a link between the ratio of CD8 to polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and treatment response to PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors. Finally, Dr. Pierce also emphasized the utility of integrating single-cell RNA sequencing with multiplexed IHC to better understand the potential mechanisms of immunosubversion in the tumor microenvironment.
Our sincere thanks to everyone who attended our workshop. We hope to see you again next year!