, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 15-22,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 Nov 2010

Minimal information about T cell assays: the process of reaching the community of T cell immunologists in cancer and beyond

Abstract

Many assays to evaluate the nature, breadth, and quality of antigen-specific T cell responses are currently applied in human medicine. In most cases, assay-related protocols are developed on an individual laboratory basis, resulting in a large number of different protocols being applied worldwide. Together with the inherent complexity of cellular assays, this leads to unnecessary limitations in the ability to compare results generated across institutions. Over the past few years a number of critical assay parameters have been identified which influence test performance irrespective of protocol, material, and reagents used. Describing these critical factors as an integral part of any published report will both facilitate the comparison of data generated across institutions and lead to improvements in the assays themselves. To this end, the Minimal Information About T Cell Assays (MIATA) project was initiated. The objective of MIATA is to achieve a broad consensus on which T cell assay parameters should be reported in scientific publications and to propose a mechanism for reporting these in a systematic manner. To add maximum value for the scientific community, a step-wise, open, and field-spanning approach has been taken to achieve technical precision, user-friendliness, adequate incorporation of concerns, and high acceptance among peers. Here, we describe the past, present, and future perspectives of the MIATA project. We suggest that the approach taken can be generically applied to projects in which a broad consensus has to be reached among scientists working in fragmented fields, such as immunology. An additional objective of this undertaking is to engage the broader scientific community to comment on MIATA and to become an active participant in the project.

C. M. Britten and S. Janetzki contributed equally.
For the MIATA panelists and contributors. Alphabetical listing of MIATA contributors and panelists are given in Appendix.