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Tumors are composed of many interacting cell types, including malignant cells, immune cells such as macrophages, stromal cells such as fibroblasts and endothelial cells, as well as cancer stem cells. All of these cell types impact cancer development, tumor progression, responses to therapy and ultimately, patient outcomes. The majority of cancer diagnoses are currently made by pathologists viewing tissues on glass slides via light microscopy (Anatomic Pathology). While valuable, this approach is focused on the morphology of malignant cells and is limited in its ability to evaluate multiple biomarkers and cell types within the tumor system.
Gene expression profiling tests have also been developed for cancer diagnostics. These tests require tissues to be digested to extract nucleic acids, which results in complete loss of the tissue morphology and contextual data that are critical for accurate measurement and interpretation of tumor biomarkers. New ways of simultaneously measuring these key cell components of the tumor system are needed to develop more personalized and predictive diagnostic tests.
Cernostics' technology approach objectively measures optimal combinations of epithelial, immune and stromal processes in the context of tissue morphology to extract tissue profiles (information from digital whole side images of tissue biopsies) that are correlated with diagnosis and prognosis. Our tissue systems biology approach integrates the expression results of multiple biomarkers and morphology on small tissue samples.
Standard anatomic pathology evaluation of tissue specimens today relies on morphologic analysis, and in some cases biomarker expression is included to improve the sensitivity of tissue analysis. Colorimetric immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) are utilized for measuring biomarker expression in tissues, however these methods are manual, subjective, and semi-quantitative. The accuracy of IHC is limited by inherent variability in staining intensity and is also limited to a single biomarker per slide.
Cernostics' TissueCypher™ platform employs multiplexed fluorescence digital imaging of biomarkers, which significantly improves on current histochemical methods by providing:
Cernostics software tools employ proprietary image analysis algorithms to capture hundreds of cell and tissue level measurements of biomarkers and morphology, and quantify complex biological relationships. These software tools employ sophisticated computer vision and machine learning algorithms as part of the TissueCypher™ platform.
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