Dissecting Prostate Cancer Metabolic Compartmentalization Using Digital Pathology and Hyperpolarized MRI

Date: 6 April 2023
Time: 8:00 – 9:00 PST | 11:00 – 12:00 EST | 16:00 – 17:00 GMT
Location: Webinar

Learn how HALO® image analysis coupled with hyperpolarized MRI is advancing prostate cancer research.


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second commonest and the fifth deadliest male cancer worldwide. The key diagnostic challenge in PCa is differentiating indolent from clinically significant disease as the latter requires more stringent follow-up and/or immediate treatment. Imaging metabolic alterations that occur throughout tumorigenesis is a promising approach for addressing this unmet clinical need. Hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate MRI (HP-13C-MRI) is an emerging clinical imaging technique that can visualize real-time pyruvate-to-lactate conversion that is a known hallmark of cancer metabolism. The recent Nature Communications study by Sushentsev and colleagues has shown the potential of HP-13C-MRI to deliver intra-grade PCa metabolic phenotyping capable of differentiating between indolent and clinically significant intermediate-risk disease. Importantly, the HALO Tissue Classifier and Membrane modules were used to measure immunohistochemical expression of monocarboxylate transporters 1 and 4, confirming that HP-13C-MRI specifically visualizes tumor epithelial metabolism that was significantly different from that of PCa stroma. The FISH module was deployed to assess epithelial mRNA expression of lactate dehydrogenase A and B, which was significantly higher in more aggressive tumors. Overall, using HALO to spatially resolve the digital pathology element of this study helped biologically validate HP-13C-MRI findings and led to new hypotheses for current projects.    

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to use HALO Tissue Classifier module to spatially resolve different tissue subtypes in human prostate cancer 
  • Learn how to use HALO Membrane module to extract cell-type-specific membrane transporter expression patterns 
  • Learn how to use HALO FISH module to analyze cell-type-specific spatial transcriptomics data 


Nikita Sushentsev
PhD Graduate Student,
University of Cambridge, UK 

Nikita is a PhD Student and Gates Scholar at the Department of Radiology, University of Cambridge. A medical doctor by training, Nikita is interested in biological validation and clinical translation of metabolic imaging techniques to address important diagnostic challenges in prostate cancer care. During his PhD, Nikita has demonstrated the potential of hyperpolarized 13C-MRI to non-invasively differentiate intermediate-risk prostate cancer based on their metabolic phenotype. To do so, he has deployed a variety of spatially resolved biological techniques including immunohistochemistry, spatial transcriptomics, and metabolomics. After his PhD, Nikita will continue his research in Cambridge as a Research Fellow of Emmanuel College. 

Cara Brodie 
Senior Scientific Associate Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
University of Cambridge, UK

Cara has a BSc Biological Science from University of Central Lancashire and a MSc in Biomedical science from Greenwich University. 

Cara joined CRUK-Cambridge Institute (CI) Histopathology/ISH core facility in 2011 as a Scientific Officer developing her histopathology knowledge. Cara is now a Senior Scientific Associate for scanning and image analysis. The facility offers brightfield scanning with the Aperio AT2 (Leica) and fluorescent scanning of whole slides with both the Zeiss AxioScan Z1 and the PhenoImager HT (Akoya). Analysis of these images can be done in house or training is offered with the HALO software (Indica Labs). 

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