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Moodie Z.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | Price L.,New York University | Janetzki S.,ZellNet Consulting Inc. | Britten C.M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

ELISPOT assay readout is often dichomized as positive or negative responses according to prespecified criteria. However, these criteria can vary widely across institutions. The adoption of a common response criterion is a key step toward cross-laboratory comparability. This chapter describes the two main approaches to response determination, identifying the strengths and limitations of each. Nonparametric statistical tests and consideration of data quality are recommended and instructions provided for their ready implementation by nonstatisticians and statisticians alike. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Attig S.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Price L.,New York University | Janetzki S.,ZellNet Consulting Inc. | Kalos M.,University of Pennsylvania | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: The introduction of antibody markers to identify undesired cell populations in flow-cytometry based assays, so called DUMP channel markers, has become a practice in an increasing number of labs performing HLA-peptide multimer assays. However, the impact of the introduction of a DUMP channel in multimer assays has so far not been systematically investigated across a broad variety of protocols.Methods: The Cancer Research Institute's Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium (CRI-CIC) conducted a multimer proficiency panel with a specific focus on the impact of DUMP channel use. The panel design allowed individual laboratories to use their own protocol for thawing, staining, gating, and data analysis. Each experiment was performed twice and in parallel, with and without the application of a dump channel strategy.Results: The introduction of a DUMP channel is an effective measure to reduce the amount of non-specific MULTIMER binding to T cells. Beneficial effects for the use of a DUMP channel were observed across a wide range of individual laboratories and for all tested donor-antigen combinations. In 48% of experiments we observed a reduction of the background MULTIMER-binding. In this subgroup of experiments the median background reduction observed after introduction of a DUMP channel was 0.053%.Conclusions: We conclude that appropriate use of a DUMP channel can significantly reduce background staining across a large fraction of protocols and improve the ability to accurately detect and quantify the frequency of antigen-specific T cells by multimer reagents. Thus, use of a DUMP channel may become crucial for detecting low frequency antigen-specific immune responses. Further recommendations on assay performance and data presentation guidelines for publication of MULTIMER experimental data are provided. © 2011 Attig et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Moodie Z.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | Price L.,New York University | Gouttefangeas C.,University of Tubingen | Mander A.,University of Southampton | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2010

No consensus has been reached on how to determine if an immune response has been detected based on raw data from an ELISPOT assay. The goal of this paper is to enable investigators to understand and readily implement currently available methods for response determination. We describe empirical and statistical approaches, identifying the strengths and limitations of each approach to allow readers to rationally select and apply a scientifically sound method appropriate to their specific laboratory setting. Five representative approaches were applied to data sets from the CIMT Immunoguiding Program and the response detection and false positive rates were compared. Simulation studies were also performed to compare empirical and statistical approaches. Based on these, we recommend the use of a non-parametric statistical test. Further, we recommend that six medium control wells or four wells each for both medium control and experimental conditions be performed to increase the sensitivity in detecting a response, that replicates with large variation in spot counts be filtered out, and that positive responses arising from experimental spot counts below the estimated limit of detection be interpreted with caution. Moreover, a web-based user interface was developed to allow easy access to the recommended statistical methods. This interface allows the user to upload data from an ELISPOT assay and obtain an output file of the binary responses. © 2010 The Author(s).

Janetzki S.,ZellNet Consulting Inc. | Britten C.M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

During more than 25 years of application in immunological sciences, ELISPOT has been established as a routine, robust, versatile, and reliable assay. From basic research to clinical immune monitoring, ELISPOT is being used to address the quantification and (to a lesser extent) functional characterization of immune cells secreting different molecules in the context of health and disease, immune intervention, and therapy in humans and other species [Kalyuzhny (Ed.) (2005) Handbook of Elispot: methods and protocols, Vol. 302, Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ]. Over the last decade, ELISPOT assays have been increasingly implemented as an immune-monitoring tool in clinical trials [Schmittel et al. J Immunother 23:289-295, 2000; Whiteside Immunol Invest 29:149-162, 2000; Nagata et al. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1037:10-15, 2004; Cox et al. (2005) Cellular immune assays for evaluation of vaccine efficacy in developing countries., In Manual of Clinical Immunology Laboratory (Rose, N. R., Hamilton, R. G., and Detrick, B., Eds.), p 301, ASM Press, Washington, DC; Cox et al. Methods 38:274-282, 2006]. While the principles of the original protocol have changed little since its first introduction [Czerkinsky J Immunol Methods 110:29-36, 1988], individual laboratories have adapted assay procedures based on experimental needs, availability of reagents and equipment, obtained recommendations, and gained experience, leading to a wide disparity of applied ELISPOT protocols with inevitable consequences. This chapter addresses the resulting challenges for ELISPOT use in clinical trial settings, and discusses the influence of harmonization strategies as a tool for overcoming these challenges. Furthermore, harmonization is discussed in the context of assay standardization and validation strategies. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Van Der Burg S.H.,Leiden University | Kalos M.,University of Pennsylvania | Gouttefangeas C.,University of Tubingen | Janetzki S.,ZellNet Consulting Inc. | And 6 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2011

Assays that measure a patient's immune response play an increasingly important role in the development of immunotherapies. The inherent complexity of these assays and independent protocol development between laboratories result in high data variability and poor reproducibility. Quality control through harmonization - based on integration of laboratory-specific protocols with standard operating procedures and assay performance benchmarks - is one way to overcome these limitations. Harmonization guidelines can be widely implemented to address assay performance variables. This process enables objective interpretation and comparison of data across clinical trial sites and also facilitates the identification of relevant immune biomarkers, guiding the development of new therapies.

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