Anna Juncker-Jensen, PhD (NeoGenomics)
NeoGenomics is a leading cancer diagnostic, pharma services, and information services company serving oncologists, pathologists, pharmaceutical companies, and academic centers in their pursuit of providing better futures for people living with cancer.
Within NEO Pharma services, one of our top priorities is providing state-of-the-art technology for our pharma customers, and to that effect, NeoGenomics has recently expanded our Global Strategic Partnership Initiatives by partnering with Biognosys so that we can provide Next Generation Proteomics Solutions that are Supporting Biopharma R&D. Partnering with Biognosys gives us the advantage of expanding into proteomics, from early drug discovery through to clinical biomarker identification.
Together with scientists and leadership from Biognosys we have designed a multi-modality approach for the protein analysis of tumor samples from melanoma patients treated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), provided by the university of Zurich. The collaboration combines Biognosys’ TrueDiscovery™ unbiased proteomics platform based on proprietary mass spectrometry technology with mIF spatial tissue analysis using MultiOmyx™, a NeoGenomics proprietary platform, demonstrating the power of a dual proteomic and mIF profiling for a comprehensive characterization of melanoma patients along with discovery and detection of markers for predictive response to ICI-therapy.
Analysis of 24 FFPE samples from metastatic melanoma patients treated with anti-PD1 therapy resulted in the identification and quantification of close to 10,000 proteins in total. Stratification of the patient group into responders and non-responders lead to the identification of 103 proteins that are significantly up- or down-regulated between the groups. Further, a proteomic signature was identified that characterizes the responder and non-responder groups.
PAK4 was found to be elevated in tumor samples from non-responder patients by both unbiased proteomics analysis, as well as MultiOmyx mIF analysis. Furthermore, we observed a clear difference in the correlation to other immune cells between the two patient groups by MultiOmyx analysis, PAK4 density being negatively correlated to T cells and TAMs only in non-responders, while positively correlated to MDSCs only in responders.
In conclusion, via this discovery-based approach, we were able to identify a panel of protein biomarkers that could serve as a panel for melanoma patient stratification prior to commencement of immunotherapy regimes.
Short Bio Anna Juncker-Jensen:
Dr. Anna Juncker-Jensen is a Principal Scientist, at NeoGenomics, where she is responsible for providing scientific support for all aspects of multiplexed IF study execution. Furthermore, as Director of Scientific Affairs, she also oversees academic collaborations and publication strategies within Pharma Services at NeoGenomics. Anna received her PhD in cancer cell biology from the University of Copenhagen and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute, focusing on the remodeling of the extracellular matrix and immune responses during tumor progression. Before joining NeoGenomics in 2017, she worked at NantBioscience leading several projects with responsibility for the delivery of lead cancer drug candidates from discovery to the pre-clinical phase.