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Curr Pharm Des. 2019 Aug 29. doi: 10.2174/1381612825666190829150302. [Epub ahead of print]

Outcome prediction and evaluation by imaging the key elements of therapeutic responses to cancer immunotherapies using PET.

Author information

1
PET-CT/MRI Center, Wuhan University Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, P. R. China.
2
Department of Radiology, Qinghai Provincial People`s Hospital, Xining, Qinghai, P. R. China.
3
Department of Radiation Oncology, Hubei Cancer Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei; P.R. China.
4
The 1st Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Wuhan University Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, P. R. China.

Abstract

Cancer immunotherapy (also known as immuno-oncology), a promising anti-cancer strategy by harnessing the body's own immune system against cancer, has emerged as the "fifth therapeutic pilla" in the field of cancer treatment since surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapy. Clinical efficacy of several immunotherapies has been demonstrated in clinical settings, however, only a small subset of patients exhibit dramatic or durable responses, with the highest reported frequency about 10-40% from single-agent PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors, suggesting the urgent need of consistent objective response biomarkers for monitoring therapeutic response accurately, predicting therapeutic efficacy and selecting responders. Key elements of therapeutic responses to cancer immunotherapies contain the cancer cell response and the alternation of inherent immunological characteristics. Here, we documents the literature regarding imaging the key elements of therapeutic responses to cancer immunotherapies using PET. We discussed PET imaging approaches according to different response mechanisms underlying diverse immune-therapeutic categories, and also highlight the ongoing efforts to identify novel immunotherapeutic PET imaging biomarkers. In this article, we show that PET imaging of the key elements of therapeutic responses to cancer immunotherapies using PET can allow for more precise prediction, earlier therapy response monitoring, and improved management. However, all of these strategies need more preclinical study and clinical validation before further development as imaging indicators of immune response.

KEYWORDS:

adoptive T cell therapy; cancer immunotherapy; cytokine; immune checkpoint blockade; positron emission tomography; therapy response; tumor vaccine

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