CST BLOG: Lab Expectations

The official blog of Cell Signaling Technology® (CST) where we discuss what to expect from your time at the bench, share tips, tricks, and information.

In-depth Characterization of Immune Checkpoints in the Tumor Microenvironment

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Characterize Immune Checkpoint Proteins and T Cell Exhaustion Using Multiplex IHC

Advances in immuno-oncology have successfully led to novel cancer therapeutics with favorable patient responses that are more durable than conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy
1. However, not all patients respond to immunotherapy; therefore investigators are trying to identify clinically relevant biomarkers with the goal of developing therapeutics based on personalized medicine2,3.
Download our mIHC app notes and posters

Download our mIHC app notes and posters.

Spatial localization of multiple biomarkers is critical when cataloging subsets of immune infiltrate and cancer cells and their interactions in the tumor microenvironment. Multiplexed assays are required for investigations of multiple therapeutic targets and predictive biomarkers in limited and valuable patient samples. For these reasons, fluorescent multiplex immunohistochemistry (mIHC), which enables the detection of six or more proteins/biomarkers in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples, is a valuable tool for immuno-oncology.

In mIHC as well as in single/dual-plex chromogenic IHC approaches, using application-validated antibodies against relevant targets is crucial in order to obtain reliable results. Antibodies validated for IHC from Cell Signaling Technology enable investigators to get more information about biomarker expression, localization, interaction, and disease context.

Our mIHC app note and poster resources explore the protocol and technical considerations for selecting and using antibodies in mIHC to assess immune checkpoint proteins and T cell exhaustion in FFPE tissue samples.

Additional Resources: 


  1. Sharma P, Allison JP. Immune checkpoint targeting in cancer therapy: toward combination strategies with curative potential. Cell. 2015;161(2):205-214. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.03.030
  2. Mahoney KM, Atkins MB. Prognostic and predictive markers for the new immunotherapies. Oncology (Williston Park). 2014;28 Suppl 3:39-48.
  3. Masucci GV, Cesano A, Hawtin R, et al. Validation of biomarkers to predict response to immunotherapy in cancer: Volume I - pre-analytical and analytical validation. J Immunother Cancer. 2016;4:76. Published 2016 Nov 15. doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0178-1
Chris Sumner
Chris Sumner
Chris Sumner was the Editor-in-Chief of Lab Expectations. When he's not reading/writing about curing disease, he's hiking in the woods, playing guitar, or searching for the world's best lobster roll.

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