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. Akoya offers two distinct solutions, the CODEX® and Phenoptics™ platforms, to serve the diverse needs of researchers across discovery, translational and clinical research.
Phenoptics multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) can reveal cellular phenotypes and interactions within the tumor microenvironment with whole slide spatial context and single-cell resolution. Image shows a lung cancer FFPE tissue with little immune infiltration and high numbers of PD-1 and PD-L1 positive immune cells and FoxP3 positive cells in the surrounding microenvironment, indicating an ‘immune-excluded’ phenotype (DAPI– blue, CD8 – cyan, PD-1 – red, FoxP3 – yellow, CD-68 – orange, PD-L1 – green). Credit: Akoya Biosciences
Image shows immune cell activity in psoriasis rash. Human fresh frozen tissue was stained with a 23-plex mixed epithelial and immune cell antibody panel to visualize epithelial and vascular markers and survey the immune landscape of skin inflammation in psoriasis. (PanCK – white, CD49f – green, CD138 – red, Podoplanin – blue, CD45 – yellow, CD34 – cyan, CD31– magenta). Credit: Akoya Biosciences
Spatial biomarkers outperform PD-L1 IHC and TMB in predicting immunotherapy response
Synopsis: In a seminal multi-institutional study, published in JAMA Oncology in 2019 , a group of leading immuno-oncology experts determined that spatial phenotypic signatures, measured by multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF), outperformed other biomarker testing approaches in predicting response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 treatments. The study was conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, Vanderbilt University, and Northwestern University.
The authors reviewed published data from more than 50 studies covering more than 10 types of cancer and over 8,000 patients. The mIF studies featured in this paper cite the use of Akoya’s Phenoptics™ platform.
Astronomy Meets Pathology: A novel spatial phenotypic signature to predict immunotherapy response and outcomes in melanoma
Synopsis: In a truly unique approach taken by scientists at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), Dr. Janis Taube, a leading pathology expert and Dr. Alex Szalay, a world-renowned astrophysicist, joined forces to solve the big data challenge in cancer biomarker discovery. They built a platform titled, AstroPath™ and applied celestial object mapping algorithms to the study of the tumor microenvironment, enabling rapid probabilistic studies of how tumor and immune cells organize and interact to influence treatment response.
The underlying image-capture technology for AstroPath is the Phenoptics platform, as part of an ongoing collaboration between Akoya and JHU. The result was the groundbreaking discovery of a spatial biomarker signature which is highly predictive of immunotherapy response in melanoma cases. The study was published in Science in 2021.
Cancer Immunome Project – Adding the Spatial Dimension
Interviewee: JC Villasboas, MD, Mayo Clinic
Synopsis: Dr. JC Villasboas, a physician-scientist and Director of the Immune Monitoring Core Facility at the Mayo Clinic, and his team of collaborators are developing what they call The Cancer Immunome Project. This is a comprehensive effort to fully characterize the immune system and how it interacts with and fights off cancer.
In the interview, Dr. Villasboas says the immune system is of such complexity that it took the addition of new spatial biology tools, namely Akoya’s CODEX® system—to be able to comprehensively tackle such a project.
Studying the biology of tumor-immune interactions in colorectal cancer
Speaker: Jérôme Galon, PhD, INSERM, Paris
Synopsis: ImmunoScore is one of the first spatial biomarker signatures listed in the WHO and ESMO guidelines and is used to refine the prognosis of patients with localized colon cancer (Stage II and III cases). Dr. Galon, Director of the Laboratory of Integrative Cancer Immunology at INSERM, Paris, pioneered the development of the ImmunoScore test.
In this Science webcast, Dr. Galon gives an educational overview of the immune landscape of cancer and provides a summary of latest studies to profile ImmunoScore and other immune signatures in metastatic colorectal cancer (Stage IV cases). Leveraging a suite of multi-omics tools, Dr. Galon cites the use of Akoya’s multispectral imaging technology, Phenoptics, to quantify the spatial relationships of diverse cell phenotypes in the tumor microenvironment.
Studying the biology of tumor-immune interactions in breast cancer samples from the I-SPY 2 trial
Speaker: Alexander Borowsky, MD, UC Davis
Synopsis: Akoya, UCSF and the I-SPY trial consortium have an ongoing collaboration to leverage the Phenoptics™ platform for developing predictive and prognostic biomarkers, particularly for use in selecting the most effective neoadjuvant and adjuvant immunotherapies for patients with early breast cancer. At the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer 2020 Annual Meeting, Dr. Borowsky presented preliminary results from the I-SPY2 trial where he showed how spatial proximity scores between tumor and immune cells are correlated to treatment response.
Adding spatial context to the Human Cell Atlas Initiative: Breast Atlas Case Study
Speaker: Kai Kessenbrock, PhD, UC Irvine
Synopsis: The mission of the Human Cell Atlas is to create comprehensive reference maps of all human cells to describe and define the cellular basis of health and disease. Using the Human Breast Cell Atlas project as an example, Dr. Kessenbrock explains how his team discovered unique cellular niches within the breast tissue microenvironment and how their spatial proximity gives us a more comprehensive view of the biology underlying each sample.
Dr. Kessenbrock’s lab complements single-cell RNA sequencing data with single-cell spatial mapping data from the CODEX® platform to generate an atlas of human breast tissue.
Spatial Multi-Omics Webinar Series– Complementing single-cell RNA-Sequencing data with Spatial Imaging data
Synopsis: In this multi-part webinar series, the speakers review analytical frameworks and algorithms to integrate imaging-based single-cell data with complementary transcriptomic and genomic datasets.
The experts combined CODEX® with single-cell sequencing data to generate multi-omic spatial maps of tissue samples. The speakers cite the ability of the CODEX platform to generate high resolution maps of millions of cells across whole tissue samples as one of the key reasons for integrating it with genomic datasets.