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Philips Pathway Activity Profiling OncoSignal Test  

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Philips Pathway Activity Profiling OncoSignal Test


The OncoSignal Test* for measuring ER, AR, PI3K and MAPK pathway activity is now available for research use in your molecular biology laboratory. The test is performed using an RT-qPCR testing plate to measure mRNA levels of selected pathway target genes and includes access to a secure cloud-based environment for calculation and reporting of pathway activity scores. The OncoSignal Test has been developed under ISO13485.


OncoSignal is based on a unique knowledge-based approach and helps users gain insight into underlying tumor driving cell signaling pathways. The OncoSignal Test quantitatively measures the activity of the hormonal estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR) pathways, as well as the activity of PI3K and MAPK growth factor signal transduction pathways simultaneously in a single sample, using RNA from FFPE tissue of human origin.


OncoSignal can be used to reveal aberrant activity of signaling pathways in tumor tissue enabling applications for drug response monitoring*, stratification for clinical trials and for cancer research.

* The OncoSignal Test is available for Research Use Only – not for use in diagnostic procedures.

How can OncoSignal benefit you?

Provides unique insights

Provides unique insights

Profiling of pathway activity by OncoSignal provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms in cancer. Direct comparison of pathway activity levels between samples is enabled through the OncoSignal Report.

Easy to integrate into laboratory workflow

Easy to integrate into laboratory workflow

The OncoSignal Test employs standard molecular laboratory techniques, allowing laboratories to perform the test in-house and avoid the need for sending out precious tissue samples for analysis.

Suitable for all tumor tissue types

Suitable for all tumor tissue types

OncoSignal products are developed based on deep insights in cell-biology using a knowledge-based approach. This enables application of the tests for a wide variety of solid tumor tissue types.

OncoSignal Testing Plates

mRNA levels transcribed from target genes regulated by the pathway transcription factor are measured by means of the OncoSignal Testing Plates. One box with 96-well PCR testing plates contains six plates, for testing six samples. Each testing plate contains carefully designed and optimized primers and probes for reliable detection of mRNA levels of the pre-selected signaling pathway target genes. Upon adding the sample RNA and one-step RT-qPCR mix to the testing plate, the test is run on a thermocycler under a specified PCR cycling program. Detailed protocols are provided in the Instructions for Use.

OncoSignal Testing Plates box

OncoSignal portal

PCR gene expression data are translated via a computational model into quantitative pathway activity scores. The PCR data file uploaded in the cloud-based Philips IntelliSpace Precision Medicine (ISPM) OncoSignal portal undergoes a thorough quality check (QC) (e.g. controls for the quantity and quality of the RNA, detection of correct plate filling), to ensure high-quality results. A report is generated presenting an overview of the pathway activity scores per sample on a scale of 0-100 with respective 95% confidence intervals. The report provides insights into the tumor driving pathways for the samples tested and enables a direct comparison of pathway activities between samples.

OS worklist printscreen portal
OS test results printscreen portal

OncoSignal workflow

An OncoSignal Test can easily be integrated into a standard molecular laboratory workflow.

Workflow 1

Select FFPE tumor

tissue block

Workflow 2

Identify tumor area

Workflow 3

Macro dissect tumor area from
unstained slide(s)

Workflow 4

Transfer tissue to

RNase-free tube

Workflow 5

Add PCR mix with extracted RNA to testing plate

Workflow 6

Run the test on a thermocycler

Workflow 7

Process PCR data in

cloud-based environment

Workflow 8

Generate report with pathway activity scores

OncoSignal data interpretation

The OncoSignal ISPM portal supports an export function of OncoSignal Test results to Excel that contains the Pathway Activity Profiling OncoSignal scores of multiple samples. The report export shows all sample information, flags, test status and Pathway Activity Profiling OncoSignal scores with corresponding upper and lower confidence intervals. This report export will enable further data analysis or data visualization or the report can be adjusted and sorted to the user’s preference.

This example of the OncoSignal Report (generated by using the batch export option) shows how the pathway activity scores may be used in a retrospective study. The goal of the study was to investigate if OncoSignal can help to explain response to neo-adjuvant hormonal therapy; the retrospective study included patient samples of responders and non-responders to aromatase inhibitor (AI) treatment. Biopsy tissue from estrogen receptor (ER) IHC positive patients before start of neo-adjuvant and after neo-adjuvant AI treatment were measured. The largest differences in pathway activity can be observed for the ER pathway. In general, the relatively high ER pathway activity scores obtained from the pre-treatment samples decreased upon treatment, which might be an indication of successful AI treatment. Patient samples 102373 + 102374 however, show a relatively low pre-treatment ER activity score indicating a lower  ER pathway activity before treatment, which may explain why this patient did not benefit from the AI treatment. Studying the pathway activity profile may provide further direction to identify relevant tumor driving pathways, such as the relatively high MAPK activity measured for patient samples 102373 + 102374 and relatively high PI3K activity for patient samples 102369 + 102370, respectively.


For more information about example experimental designs, please request the application note via oncosignal@philips.com.

Contact us

HTC Campus

Philips Molecular Pathway Diagnostics    

High Tech Campus 11

5656 AE Eindhoven 

The Netherlands

Phone: +31 40 2730155

Email: oncosignal@philips.com


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