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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Medical Research Institute Advances Biomarker Research With Aperio Digital Platform

Digital pathology using dual color assays
© Aperio
Digital pathology using dual color assays can utilize one protein marker for identifying the cell type, and one marker for identifying protein expression. In this example, a marker for BCL-B protein expression is labeled with a brown chromogen (upper right), a marker identifying plasma cells (CD138) is labeled with a black chromogen (lower left), with a background red stain for nuclei (lower right). The image analysis colocalization tool then can calculate which cells express the protein of interest (upper left).
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Burnham Institute for Medical Research (La Jolla, Calif.) is using Aperio Technologies, Inc., (Vista, Calif.), award-winning ScanScope® slide-scanning system and quantitative immunohisto
chemistry tools to assist in the validation and clinical translation of Burnham's cancer biomarkers. Aperio's digital pathology platform provides pathologists with global, Internet-secure access to digital slide images and related information from anywhere, anytime.

The collaboration originated at a single site at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, where Aperio's image analysis software helped researchers and pathologists measure nuclear, membrane, and cytoplasm protein expression in tumor tissues. The ScanScope slide-scanning system with assisted software facilitated the high-throughput investigation of hundreds of cancer cases on tissue microarray (TMA) chips.

Today, their collaboration extends to multiple projects that encompass more than 50 daily users and external collaborators from more than 26 labs, all of whom access digital slide images remotely to annotate their digital slides, apply image analysis algorithms, and share results using digital slide conferencing. In one project alone, 240 prostate cancer cases displayed on 1,600 tissue microarray cores were reviewed by four pathologists from different academic locations across the United States and then immunoscored by Aperio's image analysis algorithms.

Aperio worked with Burnham researchers to develop advanced image analysis algorithms for Burnham's novel dual or multicolor stainings in histology and immunohistochemistry to facilitate the simultaneous measurement of protein expression, cell typing, or protein colocalization. Digital pathology is ideally suited to support Burnham's expansion in Orlando, Fla. and Santa Barbara, Calif., lowering geographic barriers and connecting scientists and pathologists from remote sites.

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