We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Biosensors Use Non-Invasive Urinalysis and AI for Quick Assessment of Cancer Treatment

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Mar 2022
Print article
Image: Synthetic biosensors can quickly assess cancer treatment (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Image: Synthetic biosensors can quickly assess cancer treatment (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) inhibitors have transformed the treatment of cancer and have become the frontline therapy for a broad range of malignancies because they work better than the previous standard of care. However, less than 25% of patients benefit from these drugs and it can also be difficult to tell in a timely fashion, if the treatment is working at all. A newly-developed system of synthetic biosensors will now enable a patient and doctor to quickly learn if an ICB therapy is working through the use of non-invasive urinalysis and artificial intelligence (AI).

The ICB drug activates protective T cells, which attack the tumor en masse. The T cells kill it with a deadly secretion of proteases called granzymes, part of the same class of enzymes found in the stomach that are used to digest food. For their study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA, USA) developed sensors to detect both T cell and tumor proteases (tumors also secrete a type of protease) during ICB treatment. The sensors are attached to the ICB drug that makes its way toward the tumor environment after injection. When they reach their destination, the sensors are activated by proteases produced by both T cells and tumor cells, which triggers the release of signaling fluorescent reporters that are designed to concentrate into urine. A second way of reading the biosensor reporters involves AI and machine learning techniques to identify signal patterns that discriminate between the different ways the drug can fail. The biosensors can tell if the drug is working and can discriminate between two mechanisms of intrinsic resistance - both due to mutations in different protein coding genes.

“We reasoned, if patients are responding to the drug, it means these T cells are making proteases, and if they’re not responding, these proteases are not present, so the T cells are not active,” said Gabe Kwong, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “Basically, these signals would be diluted in blood and would be very hard to pick up, but everything from your blood gets filtered through the kidneys. So when we look at the urine, we get very concentrated signals, which increase or decrease, corresponding to whether the patients are responding or not.”

Related Links:
Georgia Institute of Technology 

Gold Supplier
Real-Time PCR System
Applied Biosystems QuantStudio 7 Pro Dx
Real-Time PCR System
Albumin Urine Test
Micro-Albumin ELISA
Gold Supplier
Group A Streptococcus Antigen Test
OSOM Strep A Test

Print article



view channel
Image: Ring-form trophozoites of Plasmodium vivax in a thin blood smear (Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Immune Regulators Predict Severity of Plasmodium vivax Malaria

Cytokines and chemokines are immune response molecules that display diverse functions, such as inflammation and immune regulation. In Plasmodium vivax infections, the uncontrolled production of these molecules... Read more


view channel
Image: Breast cancer spread uncovered by new molecular microscopy (Photo courtesy of Wellcome Sanger Institute)

New Molecular Microscopy Tool Uncovers Breast Cancer Spread

Breast cancer commonly starts when cells start to grow uncontrollably, often due to mutations in the cells. Overtime the tumor becomes a patchwork of cells, called cancer clones, each with different mutations.... Read more


view channel
Image: With Cell IDx’s acquisition, Leica Biosystems will be moving its multiplexing menu forward (Photo courtesy of Leica Biosystems)

Leica Biosystems Acquires Cell IDx, Expanding Offerings in Multiplexed Tissue Profiling

Leica Biosystems, a technology leader in automated staining and brightfield and fluorescent imaging (Nussloch, Germany), has acquired Cell IDx, Inc. (San Diego, CA, USA), which provides multiplex staining... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.