New bioinformatics tool to improve the early detection of cancer

Cancer researcher Dr Matloob Khushi

Dr Dr Matloob Khushi, image supplied by CMRI

Dr Matloob Khushi, postdoctoral researcher at Children’s Medical Research Institute, has developed a new bioinformatics tool to improve early detection of cancer.

Matcol is a bioinformatics tool which helps determine protein and DNA co-localisations visualised using fluorescence microscopy. Co-localization is the observation of the spatial overlap between two or more different fluorescent labels and their biological interaction –  this process allows cancer researchers to see whether a protein of interest is in proximity to cancer marker proteins.

Previously, most scientists used image analysis software to manually perform co-localization identification.Yet the challenge with manual co-localization quantification is that it’s subjective, prone to human error, and takes longer to perform.

Dr Khushi told the Daily Telegraph, “Single image analysis takes up many hours and scientists are required to study a large cohort of images.”

This pioneering development can replace manual co-localisation counting, and be applied to a wide range of biological areas including cancer detection.

MatCol automates this quantification task and can quantify hundreds of images automatically within a few minutes,” Dr Khushi said.

With MatCol’s automation and more streamlined processing, scientists can identify cancer in its early stages—allowing for early medical intervention and the potential to save lives.

This news was first published on CMRI’s website. 

In 2015, ACRF  awarded one of the largest private grants for medical research equipment in Australian history – $10 million – for six cutting-edge machines to establish The ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Cancer (ProCanTM) at Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in Westmead. The Centre was officially opened in September 2016.