PerkinElmer Workshop

08.00-09.00 Monday, 12 June 2017, Sunset Ballroom
Coffee and Breakfast Pastries will be served from 07.30

Navigating the immunological microenvironment, using multiplexed immunofluorescence, to uncover the hidden clues of cancer immunology

Edward C. Stack, PhD, Global Pathology Applications Scientist, PerkinElmer, USA

Dr. Edward C. Stack, field applications scientist for PerkinElmer, performed postdoctoral research at Boston University, where he began to develop an interest in human translational research. He has undertaken numerous oncology studies examining disease mechanisms in multiple cancer types while at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he was associate director of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Center for Molecular Oncologic Pathology, and an instructor in the Pathology Department of Brigham and Women’s and the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Edward C. Stack was also a member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in both the gastrointestinal malignancies and prostate cancer research programs. Now, working as a pathology scientist at PerkinElmer, Dr. Edward C. Stack is interested in developing cancer immunology-focused, tissue-based assays, which can provide deeper insights into cancer-host interactions and assist in clinical management of cancer.

The tumor microenvironment remains a complex and challenging entity supporting tumor growth, immune escape, and even metastatic potential. Recently, the emergence of novel immunotherapies such as ipilimumab and nivolumab demonstrating benefit in some of the most aggressive phases of cancer progression, have demonstrated that approaches directing the patient’s own immune system against tumors are proving valuable.  However, further advances will require a detailed understanding of the tumor microenvironment and characterization of the location and status of immune cells and their interaction with tumor.  This will require methods that provide phenotyping of immune and cancer cells combined with the cytoarchitecture of the tumor. To achieve this, a practical and simplified method for simultaneous, quantitative immunofluorescence (mQIF) of up to 6 biomarkers in a single tissue section using standard unlabeled primary antibodies will be described. In addition, approaches for multiplexed imaging, single cell quantitative analysis, automated phenotyping and bioinformatics that enable new insights into cancer biology and the tumor microenvironment will be presented. These will then be leveraged in analyses of multiple cancer types, where it is established that the host-tumor interaction is complex and difficult to characterize using either standard immunohistochemistry or flow cytometry. But by leveraging mQIF in situ, the unique spatial relationships of immune phenotypes in and around both epithelial and non-epithelial tumor types can be shown, demonstrating how this data has the potential to form the basis of assays that could guide therapy and monitor response. Further data regarding functional assessment of regulatory immunologic co-factor expression will be discussed.

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