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NanoString Technologies presents proof-of-concept data for multiplexed digital IHC in tumor tissues at AACR meeting

NanoString Technologies, Inc, a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, has presented the first proof-of-concept data from its novel multiplexed digital immunohistochemistry (IHC) technology at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Using a prototype device together with an nCounter® Analysis System, the company and its collaborators demonstrated simultaneous counting of 30 different protein targets across a fixed, slide-mounted slice of tumor tissue. The technology demonstrated a dynamic range exceeding five logs and neared single-cell spatial resolution.

The new approach is described on AACR poster #1371, “Spatially resolved, multiplexed digital characterization of protein distribution and abundance in FFPE tissue sections.” Gordon B. Mills, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Systems Biology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, is co-author of the poster. Dr. Mills commented, “The expansion of NanoString technology to the spatial context of protein concentration is an exciting advance that holds much promise for biomarker discovery and implementation into patient management. We are excited by the actionable data generated by the prototype and look forward to future developments and exploring the utility of the platform in improving patient outcomes.”

Based on NanoString’s proprietary barcoding technology, the multiplexed digital IHC approach measures local protein levels within heterogeneous tissue samples. The prototype includes imaging and fluidic components to capture spatial context, and existing nCounter instruments provide the quantification. Current multi-target IHC techniques involve sequential processing steps; therefore, each target addition increases the overall handling time and workload. In contrast, NanoString’s novel technology samples all analytes simultaneously to shorten experiments and simplify data analysis while preserving a higher multiplexing capacity and a wider detection range. The technology is expected to be compatible with current and upcoming nCounter VantageTM products for 3D BiologyTM analysis.

“NanoString’s new digital IHC technology combines the high multiplexing and digital quantification of single-molecule optical barcodes with the biological insights provided by protein localization,” stated Joseph Beechem, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of R&D at NanoString. “Over the remainder of this year, our plan includes increasing the number of targets in our assays, enhancing the imaging resolution and exploring use with other 3D Biology applications.”