ImmunoSight: A Non-invasive Neutrophil Test to Personalize Chemotherapy in Lymphoma Patients


Martha Gray, PhD, and Carlos Castro-Gonzalez, PhD, MIT

Several chemotherapy regimens (e.g., those for lymphoma) yield better survival when administered with higher frequency and dose. However, the side effect of neutropenia (low neutrophil levels), and its associated risk of serious infection, limits the chemotherapy level. Currently, neutrophil measurements require visits to the larger healthcare centers. The limited monitoring increases toxicity risk (as decreased neutrophil levels may not be caught before infections ensue) and reduces chemotherapy efficacy (as chemotherapy levels are kept at the lower end of frequency and dose). The group aims to overcome this limitation with a neutrophil test that can be used in local community health centers or at home, and which will enable physicians to minimize toxicity and personalize chemotherapy planning based on the improved availability of neutrophil levels. The basis for the technology is noninvasive optical imaging of white cells in the capillaries of the nailfold. They have already demonstrated technical feasibility by manually detecting, from nailfold images, gaps in the blood flow that are representative of white blood cell counts, which are further differentiable through image characterization to neutrophil levels, and they are currently obtaining a larger database of clinical images. The project will (a) utilize this clinical data set to develop automated algorithms to provide a noninvasive metric of neutrophil levels and (b) modify a commercially available portable optical microscope for use in the community health center or home setting. With this accomplished, the group will translate the technology to a commercially viable prototype.