Dr. Van Maldegem from VUmc is one of the pioneers in using and developing Imaging Mass Cytometry (IMC) method for cancer research. IMC enables detailed and contextual characterisation of protein expression and is a mass spectrometry-based technique that allows for the immunostaining of up to 40 markers in a single tissue section. Tissue sections of primary tumours or sectioned tissue microarrays of 3D tumour models can be stained with a cocktail of antibodies conjugated to rare metal isotopes. She and her PhD student Sofie Koomen are also optimizing antibody panels to simultaneously detect tumour, immune cells, activation markers and stroma in mouse models for non-small cell lung cancer and now assembling antibody panels for the use on human tissues such as lung cancer and glioblastoma.
Sofie Koomen joined our lab at NIB for the purpose to introduce and train us with the knowledge in cutting-edge IMC methodology, enabling further in-depth insight into the role of cellular networks in tumour microenvironment (TME) in mediating therapy response or resistance. Together we have set up the protocol to establish lung cancer organoids as a model to study therapy resistance in lung cancer. Further progress will be accomplished through CutCancer consortium using IMC that simultaneously explore the spatial and temporal dynamics of the TME, at the cellular levels, after therapy to gain knowledge of acquired cancer resistance.