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Quantifying tumor size reduction will be crucial for future cancer diagnostics and therapies.

Dr. Geir Bjørkøy
University College of Sør-Trøndelag and CEMIR Centre of Excellence, NTNU

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Dr. Geir Bjørkøy is a Professor at the University College of Sør-Trøndelag and CEMIR Centre of Excellence, NTNU, in Trondheim, Norway.

Dr. Bjørkøy studies the molecular biology of cancer. His major focus is autophagy in cellular pathways that affect disease progression. He and his group of approximately ten people use various imaging techniques to examine cellular samples and tissue sections for proteins involved in the autophagy process. They are most interested in phosphorylation studies of the PI3 Kinase pathway.

The Odyssey® Imager : One Technology Platform for Multiple Applications

Professor Geir Bjørkøy

The lab's analysis starts with Western blotting. Bjørkøy says, "We do a lot of Western blotting, and the Odyssey® Imager has been a fantastic tool from day one. It's, of course, extremely useful to be able to have two colors at the same time so you can look at the active phosphorylated protein versus the un-phosphorylated form as a normalization control." When a particular cancer cell line analysis is positively evaluated, Bjørkøy's lab moves on to analysis with the In‑Cell Western™ Assay (ICW), where data throughput can be increased significantly.

In Dr. Bjørkøy`s eyes, the most beneficial application for the Odyssey Imager in his research is using it for the analysis of tissue sections. "We use the Odyssey Imager to quantify the differences in phospho-Akt levels in the cross sections of tumors grown in nude mice and in tumor samples from patients," says Bjørkøy. "The brilliant signal-to-noise ratio in combination with the ability to truly quantify the data is really outstanding. We analyze the changes in the PI3 Kinase pathway in response to targeted drugs, and if the treatment takes down the Phospho-Akt levels in the tumors, we can really see that the drug hit the target."

Supporting Advances in Cancer Research

The brilliant signal-to-noise ratio in combination with the ability to truly quantify the data is really outstanding.

Bjørkøy combines his work on the Odyssey Imager with confocal microscopy by mixing in secondary antibodies that can be detected in the visible light spectra. After scanning the whole tissue section on the Odyssey to see the quantitative differences, he uses the confocal microscope to examine a particular tissue section in more detail. First experiments with clinical samples have been concluded successfully.

"We correlate the changes we see in the sections in the tumors with the Western blots of tumor extracts," says Bjørkøy. It is particularly interesting for Bjørkøy and his lab to see whether specific inhibitors affect tumor growth. Bjørkøy explains, "Being able to determine deregulated signaling and then quantify tumor size reduction in response to targeted therapy is important. It will be crucial for future cancer diagnostics and therapies."

Bjørkøy's innovation using the Odyssey Infrared Imager for immunohistochemistry analysis, and exploring future quantitative cancer diagnostics are just a couple of the reasons we are proud to call him an "Odyssey Expert."

Publications

Publications resulting from work on the Odyssey

  1. Moestue SA, Dam CG, Gorad SS, Kristian A, Bofin A, Mælandsmo GM, Engebråten O, Gribbestad, IS, Bjørkøy G. (Feb 2013)Metabolic biomarkers for response to PI3K inhibition in basal-like breast cancer Breast Cancer Research 15: R16. doi:10.1186/bcr3391


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