Advancing Cancer Research: Samantha Burugu

In 2013, cancer immunotherapy was being heralded as a breakthrough in the scientific community.

This exciting development led Samantha Burugu, a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, to follow her dreams of advancing cancer research.

Here she describes her PhD thesis on biomarkers in breast tumors, and shares how she is using her training to inform work with biopharmaceuticals.

Ki67-QC calibrator available to public

The Ki67-QC calibrator is a web-based calibration exercise designed to calibrate pathologists to a prescribed scoring method. Nine “training” and nine “test” tissue microarray cases representing a wide range of Ki67 scores were chosen to serve as the calibration cases.

This website interface allows pathologists to score the web-image cores via computer mouse click on individual cells. The website software tracks which cells were scored, where those cells were located within the core, whether each cell was scored positive or negative, and the overall Ki67 score for each core. Images of H&E-stained sections from the cores were also uploaded for reference.

The Ki67-QC calibrator is available at:

NanoString wins FDA approval of breast cancer diagnostic test

GPEC has been working closely with NanoString for the past three years on this FDA approval submission. The FDA approved Prosigna test is based on the breast cancer intrinsic subtype gene expression profiling (PAM50) research, a collaborative study between University of North Carolina, Washington University, University of Utah and GPEC.

More information can be found at: