What is the Integrated Pathology Unit?
The Integrated Pathology Unit (IPU) is a tissue-based laboratory. Our mission is to develop complex and highly quantitative approaches to tissue analysis (wet lab and in-silico) in the space of translational and clinical research.
This research is applicable in the context of clinical trials with potential adoption into the diagnostic setting.
The newly created IPU will use state-of-the-art tissue-based profiling such as single-plex immunohistochemistry (IHC), RNA in situ hybridisation and IHC/IF multiplexing, together with multi-scan imaging and digital pathology / artificial intelligence (AI) biomarker quantitation.
These approaches will be applied to well-curated cancer sample cohorts (from routine diagnostics or from clinical trials) to:
- explore the clinical relevance of biomarkers and pathways
- identify the best quantitative delivery of biomarker analysis.
Integrating research across the ICR and The Royal Marsden
We will coordinate with other programmes in the ICR and The Royal Marsden that are carrying out tissue-based analyses and AI quantification of digital images. We anticipate serving across academia, healthcare and industry.
This work is based on the PIs published experience, in collaborative research with other investigators, across the tissue-interrogation pathway. This includes:
This is complemented with experience in open source and off-the-shelf use of digital pathology analyses.
Who we are
The IPU is recruiting a team of nearly 20 biologists and computer analysts. Our aim is to quantitatively define the spatial biology, tumour microenvironment and complexities of biomarker expression in order to identify their clinical applicability. The IPU is led by:
- Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, Head of the IPU and Professor of Integrative Pathology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London
- Dr Katharina von Loga, Deputy Head of IPU and Consultant Molecular Pathologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
- Dr Tom Lund, Scientific Lead of IPU and Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
An operational and strategic advantage for the ICR and The Royal Marsden
The research is championed by both institutions (supporting basic research, translational research and clinical/diagnostic research) requiring the same technologies, analyses of similar patient cohorts, and a reference laboratory quality. Creating this unit as a joint venture leads to consolidation of technology, human effort and IT resources, which, in turn, lead to laboratory efficiencies, cost-effectiveness and rapid translation.
The IPU aims to develop excellence in digital pathology (DP) that supports research across the ICR and The Royal Marsden for the ultimate benefit of cancer patients. Developing a full offering of capacity and know-how in DP will also enable engagement with the pharmaceutical industry. Credible future bids for core infrastructure and research programmes are expected to benefit from a clear development of such capabilities.