Cells don’t work alone. Like neighbourhoods in a city, certain immune and cancer cell types interact with each other in ways we are only just beginning to understand. Mapping these relationships is key. Spatial phenotyping is a novel approach that allows us to do just that. With the ability to map diverse “cellular neighbourhoods” with billions of data points from a simple tissue sample, spatial phenotyping promises to illuminate new sights into inflammatory processes and tumour progression, revealing novel targets for therapy.

Spatial phenotyping microscope Spatial phenotyping is accomplished by using a revolutionary microscope that can analyze the cancer cell genome in a three-dimensional perspective in order to provide a more complete understanding of the landscape that formed the cancer cells. Mapping these landscapes across single tissue sample sections could show us unique interactions, leading the way toward personalized and precise treatments not otherwise apparent with conventional techniques.

Characterizing the complexities of the cancer tissue microenvironment – the ecosystem that surrounds a tumour – is a critical step toward understanding disease development, differentiation and response. A spatial phenotyping microscope allows for the comprehensive analysis of millions of cells at an unprecedented scale and speed.

Mapping millions of cells and their interactions across single intact tissue samples facilitates the discovery of rare cell types, cellular neighbourhoods (how cells are organized in a tumour microenvironment), and spatial functional sates (how cells behave differently based on their environments). These capabilities will unlock deeper understandings of a patient’s cancer cells on a case-by-case basis, allowing Sunnybrook researchers to gain new insights into cancer progression and reveal novel targets for therapy.

At Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Program, we are committed to delivering cancer care that is as unique as each of our patients. Personalized and precise treatments mean better outcomes for patients. They also mean fewer side effects – helping patients get back to their lives faster. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Women’s Health Golf Classic continues to play a powerful role in bringing the latest technologies, testing and treatments to patients at Sunnybrook to invent the future of health care. Thank you for your steadfast support!

More information on the 2024 cause will be provided at a later date.