Molecular imaging biomarkers for cell-based immunotherapiesReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Translational Medicine

, 15:140

Hot topicsClinical translation


While many decades of scientific research studies have gone into harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer, only recently have cancer immunotherapeutic approaches begun to show robust clinical responses in patients with a variety of cancers. These treatments are adding to the current arsenal of cancer treatments; surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and increasing the therapeutic options for cancer patients. Despite these advances, issues associated with these therapies include that not all patients respond to these therapies, and some patients who respond experience varying degrees of toxicities. One of the major issues affecting immunotherapy is the inability to evaluate trafficking of activated T-cells into sites of tumor. The current diagnostic imaging based on conventional anatomic imaging, which is the mainstay to monitor response to cytotoxic chemotherapy or radiation, is not adequate to assess initial response to immunotherapy or disease evolution. Patients’ prognosis by histological analysis has limited use in regards to immunotherapy. Thus, there is a crucial need for noninvasive biomarkers for screening patients that show long term response to therapy. Here, we provide a brief account of emerging molecular magnetic resonance imaging biomarkers that have potential to exploit the metabolism and metabolic products of activated T cells.

AbbreviationsMRImagnetic resonance imaging

PD-L1programmed cell death-ligand 1

CTLA4cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4

PDCD1-PD1programmed cell death protein-1

FDAFood and Drug Administration

TCRsengineered T cell receptors

CARschimeric antigen receptors

TILstumor-infiltrating lymphocytes

APCsantigen presenting cells

RECISTResponse Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors

ATPadenosine triphosphate

TEFFeffector T cells

OXPHOSoxidative phosphorylation

TMmemory T cells


PETpositron emission tomography

CESTchemical exchange saturation transfer

DNPdynamic nuclear polarization

MRSmagnetic resonance spectroscopy


APTamide proton transfer

Author: Mohammad Haris - Puneet Bagga - Hari Hariharan - Bevin McGettigan-Croce - Laura A. Johnson - Ravinder Reddy



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