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Thomas Grogan, M.D., pioneering pathologist and founder of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., is highly optimistic about the promise of this technique. "With this exciting technical breakthrough, we can now judge with a standard light microscope the link between miRNA and associated proteins in full cellular context. It will now reveal matters like message/protein dysfunction and heterogeneity. This then will add greatly to our understanding of the mechanisms of cancer biology and help direct new better informed targeted therapies."
James W. Welsh, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at The
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, believes this new technology could eventually work as a companion diagnostic tool for future miRNA pathway targeting drugs. "For the first time, using this technique, researchers will be able to observe the relationships between specific miRNAs and their known oncogenic protein targets," says Dr. Welsh. "In lung cancer, we've begun to identify pairs of miRNAs and proteins that we believe play a role in treatment resistance and metastasis; utilizing this new protocol will hopefully allow us to better understand the correlation between the two." In the future, Dr. Welsh adds, miRNAs could be utilized as biomarkers or therapeutics for lung cancer as well as other solid tumors.
Watch the video of
Dr. Welsh's full comments.
Unlike traditional enzymatic retrieval, which is the current industry standard for miRNA in situ hybridization (ISH), the new technique from Ventana uses non-enzymatic pre-treatments, enabling the detection of both targets while preserving tissue morphology. Developed for use on the
DISCOVERY ULTRA instrument, the application is fully automated, allowing for greater reproducibility of target detection.
The DISCOVERY ULTRA immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) systems from Ventana offer full automation, along with unsurpassed freedom and flexibility. For scientists and research professionals who require more than conventional IHC and ISH research methods can offer, the DISCOVERY ULTRA system provides exceptional, reproducible results to help scientific inventions become medical innovations.