This project introduces a new type of unprecedented mapping of complex cell composition that opens for improvement of tissue-based cancer diagnosis and disease characterisation.

To properly define tumour heterogeneity is one of the key challenges for improved cancer treatment. Apart from genetic and epigenetic variation, the efficacy of treatment is dictated by an enigmatic heterogeneity of tumour-infiltrating immune cells. The classical method to reveal these cellular changes in clinical pathology is by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and microscopic examination of single cell populations.

To markedly improve the diagnostic potential Medetect has developed a novel method, Additive Multiple Labelling Cytochemistry (AMLC) that allows a simultaneous visualization and automatic quantification of all major cell populations in a routine tumour section. This approach thus constitutes a new type of unprecedented mapping of the composition and arrangement of tissue cells and opens for improvement of tissue-based cancer diagnosis and disease characterization.

The aim of this project is to validate the diagnostic potential of AMLC by mapping well-characterized breast cancer tumours from 400 patients. Critical project outcomes are identification of cell patterns and new marker combinations that can be used for improved prediction of key clinical outcomes such as response to treatment or survival.

The project is in the international forefront and represents a collaborative effort between Medetect and Department of Inflammation and Department of Oncology & Pathology at Lund University. The outcome is aimed to spur a focused strategy to launch AMLC as a novel tool for clinical research and tissue-based diagnosis, something that will be beneficial for the public health sector, patients, and the society as a whole.

Ny Swelife Bra2


Project leader Monika Malm-Erjefält, MEDETECT AB, Lund,

Funding from SWElife: Ny Swelife Bra21 400 000 SEK

Call for proposal SWElife 2015 open call for “Predictive or prognostic biomarkers in tumour diseases”

About the project at Vinnova (in Swedish)