Redox Imaging: A Promising Method for Monitoring Cancer Treatment Response - Redox Medicine Society

Redox Imaging: A Promising Method for Monitoring Cancer Treatment Response

Redox Imaging A Promising Method for Monitoring Cancer Treatment Response

Redox imaging of PCOs. An overview of the protocol for redox imaging and quantitative image analysis.

Cancer cases resistant to standard therapies call for innovative ways of uncovering treatments best suited for each individual. However, studying the effectiveness of different treatments often involves breaking up the organoids or processing them in ways that render them useless for further examination. Thus, accessible tools are needed for rapid, non-destructive imaging of patient-derived cancer organoid (PCO) treatment response to accelerate drug discovery and streamline treatment planning for individual patients. 

Gil et al. aimed to segment and track individual PCOs with wide-field one-photon redox imaging to extract morphological and metabolic variables of treatment response. 

Redox imaging reveals the natural fluorescence of 2 metabolic coenzymes without involving external fluorescent dyes or molecules, thus allowing researchers to track metabolic changes as biomarkers of treatment response. They used redox imaging of the endogenous fluorophores, nicotinamide dinucleotide (NADH), nicotinamide dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) to monitor the metabolic state and morphology of PCOs.

Redox imaging was performed on a wide-field one-photon epifluorescence microscope to evaluate drug response in two colorectal PCO lines. An automated image analysis framework was then developed to track PCOs across multiple time points over 48 h. Variables quantified for each PCO captured metabolic and morphological response to drug treatment, including the optical redox ratio (ORR) and organoid area.

  • The ORR (NAD(P)H/(FAD + NAD(P)H)) was independent of PCO morphology pretreatment.
  • Drugs that induced cell death decreased the ORR and growth rate compared to control.
  • Multivariate analysis of redox and morphology variables identified distinct PCO subpopulations.
  • Single-organoid tracking improved sensitivity to drug treatment compared to pooled organoid analysis.

In brief, wide-field one-photon redox imaging can monitor metabolic and morphological changes on a single organoid-level, providing an accessible, non-destructive tool to screen drugs in patient-matched samples.

Article DOI.

© Image- Gil et al. Journal of Biomedical Optics (2021)

You can learn more about the most recent redox technologies in cancer tracking during Redox Medicine 2023 in June. Abstract on the following topic can be submitted for short oral or poster presentation.


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