Narendra Sees More in His Immunoblots with the FluorChem Q Imager
Helping More Children Survive Cancer
Dr. Narendra Bharathy Elangovan is a Postdoctoral Fellow focusing on pediatric oncology at the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI). This institution, led by Dr. Charles Keller, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making childhood cancer universally survivable, regardless of diagnosis. Some childhood cancers, like rhabdomyosarcoma, have seen little to no advancement in treatment options in the past 40 years. To counteract this, Narendra and his colleagues are exploring and testing state-of-the-art treatment options to find more effective, less toxic therapies for kids battling cancer.
Lost in the Noise
Narendra’s research involves understanding the epigenetic mechanisms that cause rhabdomyosarcoma, a childhood muscle cancer. He screens molecularly targeted therapies and monitors changes in specific protein expression using a digital CCD imager. Unfortunately, the imagers he was using didn’t pick up
chemiluminescent or fluorescent signal for low-affinity antibodies, plus the immunoblot background noise
was so bad it was difficult to make conclusions on treatment efficacy.
Seeing the UnseenThe FluorChem™ Q imager detected signal in Narendra’s experiments that other imagers couldn’t see, and did it in just seconds to a few minutes. His background noise is also considerably reduced too, not to mention he’s seen image quality improve significantly thanks to the FluorChem Q’s high resolution camera. He’s now generating publication-worthy data on a regular basis.
Narendra now uses the FluorChem Q in his pre-clinical work where he’s treating rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines, patient-derived xenograft cultures, and primary cultured cells from genetically engineered mice with different drugs to identify promising candidates. The higher-quality data helps Narendra troubleshoot his Western blot protocols for better sensitivity when detecting faint bands. It also gives him accurate protein analysis — something that’s critical during preclinical drug validation. The faster method development, better sensitivity, and accurate protein analysis with the FluorChem Q also means fewer experiments have to be repeated during optimization and target validation. That gets Narendra to his goal of delivering smarter, hope-filled discoveries to be prioritized in clinical trials for kids faster.
A Clearer Future
Narendra’s now supporting a drug in phase I clinical trials for rhabdomyosarcoma, and has two
manuscripts in different stages of publication. The FluorChem Q’s multiplex fluorescent detection and chemiluminescent imaging capabilities gives everyone at cc-TDI more flexibility for multiple applications, ranging anywhere from quantitative immunoblot imaging to gel viewing after DNA separation. Now they can properly screen for drug treatments that are more efficient and less toxic — a vital part of their mission for running preclinical validation. Ever since he was young, Narendra’s been inspired by science that makes Earth a better place to live, and being a part of the unique mission at cc-TDI makes him a part of that in finding childhood cancer cures.