Hamamatsu NanoZoomer 2.0 HT-slide scanner

City of Hope

Grant Amount: $75,000

PHASE ONE board member and former chair, Tia Palermo, passed away in 2012 following an 11-year battle with cancer. PHASE ONE wanted to honor her memory, and along with generous donations from friends and family, funded an extraordinary piece of equipment called the Hamamatsu NanoZoomer 2.0 HT-slide scanner at City of Hope, where Tia had been treated.

The T Cell Therapeutic Research Laboratory (TCTRL), directed by Tia’s physician Dr. Stephen Forman, is developing novel immune-based therapies for the treatment of cancer—specifically for the treatment of hematological malignancies, gynecological cancers and brain tumors. Their pre-clinical and clinical research program focuses on engineering human T cells to recognize and destroy tumor cells, and, in first-in-human clinical trials, in which a patient’s own reprogrammed tumor-specific T cells are transferred back to that patient, have observed encouraging initial results. A current technical challenge for the research program is the high-throughput evaluation of human and mouse tumor and organ histology both before and after therapeutic intervention with T cells that have been genetically modified to attack tumors. To address this technical limitation, the goal was to purchase the Hamamatsu NanoZoomer 2.0-HT slide scanner (C9600-13)with fluorescence imaging module (L11600-21). This equipment has helped evaluate the amount of T cell and/or tumor cell engraftment in their in vivo models of cancer therapy, and the surface marker/antigen profiles of individual cells both in their in vivo cancer models as well as on primary human tumor samples. Specifically, this slide scanner and imager provides cell-level resolution critical for determining the frequencies of varying patterns of antigen expression, mapping antigen distributions between cells and on individual cells both before and after adoptive T cell therapy in clinical trials and/or animal experiments.

The Hamamatsu unit combines high capacity (210 slides per run) for array tomography mapping of antigen expression relative to tumor structures, high resolution (0.46μm/pixel or 0.23 μm/pixel), and high sensitivity withrelatively increased speed with TDI (Time Delay Integration) line scanning. Cell-level resolution is critical for determining frequencies of varying patterns of antigen expression, mapping antigen distributions between cells and on individual cells. The COH Light Microscope and Digital Imaging Core, while well-equipped for conventional confocal microscopy, lacks the capability for scanning wide fields at high spatial resolution and high-throughput. Overall, this slidescanner and imaging unit is extremely important for their research mission of developing cancer immunotherapies.