Imaging mass cytometry: High-dimensional and single-cell perspectives on the microenvironment of solid tumours

Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2022 Nov;175:140-146. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2022.10.003. Epub 2022 Oct 15.


Imaging mass cytometry (IMC) is a new technology integrating mass spectrometry, high-resolution laser ablation and immunohistochemistry/cytochemistry. A unique high-dimensional perspective comprehensively and accurately depicts the complex interaction of phenotype, signalling pathway and tumour microenvironment and is widely used in solid tumours. However, the application scenarios of IMC in basic medicine and clinical research in solid tumours lack systematic introduction and classification. This paper reviews the application of IMC in depicting the panorama of the tumour microenvironment, revealing tumour spatial heterogeneity, clarifying tumour pharmacological mechanisms, assisting in new drug development, and dynamically evaluating the efficacy of immunotherapy in solid tumours.

Keywords: Imaging mass cytometry; Immunotherapy; Tumour heterogeneity; Tumour microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image Cytometry
  • Immunotherapy
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment*