Oncology & Immuno-Oncology Assay Services
2D & 3D Disease-Relevant Models.
Cancer is a highly complex disease class characterized by aggressive, unchecked cellular proliferation leading to development of malignancies that, if left untreated, often result in severe, long-term tissue and organ damage or fatality. The introduction of high-throughput, high-fidelity genomic and expression profiling of patient tumor tissues has revealed diverse drivers of oncogenesis, disease progression, and patient response to cancer therapeutics.
These hallmarks can vary widely across cancer subtypes, disease stage, and patient sub-populations, dictating development of novel, targeted therapeutics, as well as more personalized medicine-based approaches. Additionally, enhancing the capability of the human immune system to combat cancer has in recent years emerged as a viable strategy for therapeutics development.
A high-content, imaging-based approach offers several advantages in the development of novel oncology therapeutics. In particular, the ability to multiplex readouts enhances the value of more straightforward assays, characterizing the impact of cancer therapeutics upon proliferation, apoptosis, necrosis, and mitochondrial health of 2D monocultures of immortalized cancer cell lines. While these simpler assays are informative, particularly during the early stages of drug discovery and development, assessing therapeutic activity in more complex, 3D models, including cancer spheroids, patient-derived organoids, and co-culture models mimicking the tumor microenvironment, is often warranted to address more complex mechanisms of action and to ensure translatability to the clinic. Employing a high-content imaging approach can deliver highly impactful, multi-parametric data from these challenging yet relevant assays.
Evaluating the impact of drug candidates on cell proliferation and viability is essential to the success of any drug-discovery or drug-development campaign. Oncology-targeted therapeutics are generally designed to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and viability.
While straightforward cell proliferation assays may reveal inhibitory activity of therapeutics, overall cell health is multi-faceted, necessitating a multiplexed approach assessing cell viability, apoptosis, and necrosis to achieve a comprehensive picture of drug activity.
PhenoVista has developed a R2G Cell Health Assay Service, enabling robust, accurate, simultaneous quantitation of cell viability, apoptosis, necrosis, and proliferation using a homogeneous assay workflow with dye-based detection. This approach maximizes data quality by minimizing pipetting steps and eliminating wash steps that could exacerbate loss of dead or dying cells.
Mitochondria play a fundamental role in maintaining cellular health by converting sugars and oxygen into energy (ATP), using a process that relies on their membrane potential. Perturbations in mitochondrial function are detrimental to cell health and, therefore, are critical to monitor in any drug development campaign, whether desirable (e.g., in cancer treatment) or not (e.g., off-target toxicity).
PhenoVista’s R2G Mitochondrial Health Assay Service screens for changes in mitochondrial membrane potential using a fluorescent dye that accumulates within the mitochondria at a rate that depends upon its membrane potential. Additionally, we have integrated measurements of cell count (via nuclear staining) as well as necrosis (via a dead cell dye) to deliver a more comprehensive picture of how drug treatment impacts overall cell health.