Recently, the Nucleai team hosted a meetup with some of the greatest minds and innovators in the cancer therapy space. Not only was the event exciting and engaging, but it also placed the breakthrough developments we’re working on with partners from some of Israel’s leading medical centers, research institutes, and Biomed facilities, front, and center.
Weren’t able to attend? Don’t worry! Here’s a recap of five of the meetup’s most memorable moments. Be sure to let us know which has you most excited, in the comments below.
- Nucleai gives a sneak peek into the AI technology that’s poised to analyze digital slides, as a tool to predict immunotherapy response.
Dr. Ori Zelichov, Nucleai’s medical director, took to the stage to share news about the creation of our new AI-powered software, which allows pathological slides analysis of multiple biological parameters. Using the AI approach for pathological slides could potentially lead to revolutionary clinical implications, including its use as a tool for immunotherapy response prediction, which was recently demonstrated, with marked effects (Ofek, E. et al., 2021).
- A word from our partner: Recent decades’ tremendous progress in digital pathology has improved patient management care.
Professor Iris Barshack, the head of clinical pathology at Sheba Medical Center, addressed the crowd next, introducing the revolution that is taking place within the digital pathology space, from the eye of an experienced pathologist. Professor Barshack shared her insights on the way new digital technologies could ultimately improve patient care in the near future, should they be successfully integrated with the work of pathology clinicians.
- Introducing MIBI-TOF: The exciting new technology that’s designed to spatially analyze the tumor immune microenvironment.
Another great talk from a Nucleai partner was the one given by Dr. Leeat Keren, PI at the Weizmann Institute. She introduced us to a new technology called the MIBI-TOF. The MIBI-TOF (multiplexed ion beam imaging by time-of-flight) is a technology that can simultaneously capture the expression of multiple proteins, within the tumor microenvironment. Using the MIBI-TOF, Keren and colleagues have found that breast cancer tumors can be spatially divided into mixed immune or compartmentalized immune phenotypes (Keren, l. et al. 2018). These spatial structures were also associated with patient survival rates, emphasizing the importance of spatial organization in the tumor microenvironment.
- Our expert panel outlined prevalent challenges pertaining to digital pathology and spatial biology, as well as their potential for driving major change within cancer research and oncology treatment decisions.
The emergence of new imaging and staining tools, together with new AI-based technologies, can capture the spatial structures of tumors. This can unveil important aspects of cancer biology that are currently still obscure, and in need of resolution. Some challenges are related to the cumbersome analysis process related to these technologies. That said, there are already several projects working towards resolving these issues, providing hope that more time-efficient methods will be developed and implemented in the future.
- A call for collaborations between clinicians, basic science researchers, and the Biomed industry, to accelerate the race towards finding a cure for cancer.
Finally, no meetup would be complete without turning towards the brilliant and innovative minds within our hallowed halls and asking for increased participation in achieving Nucleai’s ultimate goal: finding a cure for cancer. To that end, we called for collaborations between various players in the field, highlighting that it is only through collaborations between clinicians, basic science researchers, and the Biomed industry that we can accelerate the use of spatial biology and digital pathology tools to bring us closer to this goal. Such collaborations can leverage the exciting rise of spatial biology as a potential ‘game-changer’ in cancer understanding, overcome biological and technical challenges, and lead us to the next era of cancer research and, hopefully, better patient care.
That sums up the highlights of our most recent meetup. Now that you’re up to date, if you’re still feeling like you missed out, there’s only one move you can make – sign up and attend our next event! We want thinkers and doers just like you to participate, brainstorm, and help innovate the future of cancer research and development, together with our teams and partners.
Until next time…