ICC 2021

Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson, Speaker at Cancer Congress
University of Toronto, Canada
Title : Point-of-care Tool for Early Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer


High grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) histologic subtypes make up the majority of epithelial ovarian cancer and 85% of cases are diagnosed at advanced stages, in which the 5-year relative survival could be as low as 20%. Unfortunately, only 20% of patients are diagnosed at stages ? and ? when treatment of the disease is more effective. Moreover, there are no mass screening techniques that are cost-effective and reliable.

Our research involves the development of both a low-cost general screening test for early detection of OC as well as a multiplexed precise medical device that can be used for point-of-care testing (POCT) at the bedside to monitor the progress of the disease during treatment. The former detects the lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a highly promising biomarker, which was found to be elevated in 90% of stage ? OC and gradually increases as the disease progresses to later stages. And the latter detects LPA together with the known cancer antigen-125 (CA125) biomarker to use as a POCT device. We are employing electrochemical techniques, which are highly sensitive and rapid, to develop the proposed devices. Electrochemical devices can be easily miniaturized, which will reduce the cost of the fabrication.  

Such devices that can accurately detect early-stage OC as well as monitor the progress of the disease is highly desired for i) mass screening that reduces fatality rates; ii) avoiding false negatives or false positives that can lead to higher health-care costs and undesired stress to the patient iii) monitoring the progress of the disease during and after the treatment or surgery; and iv) screening drug candidates that accelerating the clinical trials.

Our research includes a novel and unique strategy to avoid fouling of devices surfaces by components of biological fluids. This involves silane-based interfacial chemistry for the mitigation of non-specific adsorption. We are tailoring this strategy by designing novel trichlorosilane molecules using molecular dynamic (MD) computer simulations to provide a scaffold for developing the biorecognition surfaces. Using this scaffold, we are developing electrochemical biosensors for LPA and CA125 detection by following affinity-based and aptamer-based approaches, respectively. We will combine the above biosensors in a miniaturized setup using a microfluidic system to fabricate a   POCT device capable of detecting LAP and CA125, which is simple, easy to use, and cost-effective.


Professor Michael Thompson obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Wales, UK and his PhD in analytical chemistry from McMaster University. Following a period as Science Research Council PDF at Swansea University he was appointed Lecturer in Instrumental Analysis at Loughborough University. He then moved to the University of Toronto where he is now Professor of Bioanalytical Chemistry. He has held a number of distinguished research posts including the Leverhulme Fellowship at the University of Durham and the Science Foundation Ireland E.T.S Walton Research Fellowship at the Tyndall National Institute, Cork City. He is recognized internationally for his pioneering work over many years in the area of research into new biosensor technologies and the surface chemistry of biochemical and biological entities. He has made major contributions to the label-free detection of immunochemical and nucleic acid interactions and surface behavior of cells using ultra high frequency acoustic wave physics. Recently, scanning Kelvin nanoprobe detection has been introduced which offers the multiplexed detection of biochemical phenomena. Thompson has served on the Editorial Boards of a number of major international journals including Analytical Chemistry, The Analyst, Talanta, Analytica Chimica Acta and Biosensors and Bioelectronics. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the monograph series “Detection Science” for the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. He has been awarded many prestigious international prizes for his research including The Robert Boyle Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, E.W.R. Steacie Award of the Chemical Society of Canada, the Theophilus Redwood Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Fisher Scientific Award in Analytical Chemistry of the Chemical Society of Canada. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999.