Tumor Microenvironment Assays

TME Logo

The tumor microenvironment (TME) is a heterogenous milieu of immunosuppressive cells such as tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and stromal matrix that plays a major role in the performance and success of the immunotherapy. TME differs from the environment around normal healthy tissue in that it is often hypoxic, acidic, and less enervated (blood flow) leading to build up of toxic cell byproducts. These factors often provide ‘poor’ immunogenic tumor microenvironment demanding further strategies for more effective therapy approach.  Additionally, the cellular subsets in TME often upregulate surface markers implicated in tumor immune escape (immune checkpoints). Therefore, it is important to characterize TME and design novel immunotherapies tailored to overcome the limitations posed by TME.

Xeno Diagnostics offers a wide range of assays to test and characterize various cell types in the tumor microenvironment including:

  • T-cell exhaustion assays – analyze recovery of T-cell stimulation and effect of checkpoint inhibitor drugs
    • T-cells in the TME can become exhausted by overstimulation and natural negative feedback loops cause immune tolerance (reduction in inflammation).
  • TAM switching assays – from immunosuppressive to proinflammatory phenotype
    • TAMs are the drivers of immunosuppressive effects in TME, support angiogenesis and metastasis. Developing an in vitro model to replicate TAM to classic M1 transition is an important aspect to test the specificity and efficacy of emerging therapies.
  • MSDC suppression assays
    • MDSCs are immature myeloid cells that have morphologic and phenotypic features of neutrophils and monocytes via arginase, ROS. MSDCs suppress T cell proliferation.
  • Dendritic Cell assays – reversing tolerogenic DC malfunction to activation
    • DCs are the most professional antigen presenting cells that induces T cell activation. In TME, DC functions are hindered due to inadequate maturation or dysfunction.
  • CAF (Cancer-associated fibroblasts) – promote tumor growth and recondition TME
    • CAFs are important component of the TME instrumental in extracellular matrix remodeling as well as crosstalk with other immune cells.
  • T-Reg suppression assays – prevent immune tolerance
    • TME increases regulatory T-cells (T-Regs), a subset of T-cells whose function it is to promote immune tolerance of pro-inflammatory T-cells. Test therapies for suppression of T-regs.
  • TME Cytokine profiling – assess immunomodulatory effects of the TME
    • Measurement of TGF-β.

Xeno Diagnostics is a CLIA certified high complexity lab and adheres to GLP and GCLP standards. We have had years of experience helping clients navigate the regulatory landscape and produce high-quality assays, documentation, and reporting to fit the regulatory requirements for each stage of product development.