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The introduction of immunotherapy has resulted in durable responses for an increasing number of patients, including many who initially witnessed a poor prognosis.
FREMONT, CA: The majority of the people do not respond well to immunotherapy; therefore, the primary focus in the field is to find new ways to identify and stratify patients who are the most likely to respond to specific immunotherapy approaches. The advances in the imaging arena, like the real-time, non-invasive visualization of specific cells, or the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to pathology have attracted a lot of attention in the immunotherapy space.
AI Revolutionizing Pathology
While there are many benefits to alternative imaging modalities, the definitive diagnoses for many diseases, including cancer, need tissue samples analysis. Pathology images hold vast amounts of valuable data, yet the humans' evaluation and interpretation have their limitations. According to reports, while analyzing breast and skin biopsies, AI could be used to transform pathology.
Leveraging Immuno-Pet to Characterize T-Cell Responses to Checkpoint Inhibition
Imaging immune responses can give information about how specific T-cell subsets respond to tumors or therapeutic strategies, but these studies require a biopsy, which is generally invasive. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides an attractive alternative for imaging the immune response.
A traditional PET scan is a whole-body imaging technique that leverages the radiotracer 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) to visualize multiple metabolically active tumors. Immuno-PET, on the other hand, utilizes radiolabeled antibodies to target cell surface markers to detect specific cells. Conventional antibodies are significant, resulting in low tissue penetration and several days to clear through the circulatory system.
Using anti-CD8 nanobodies, it was possible to visualize CD8-positive T cells to understand better the trafficking of the immune response into the tumor microenvironment. Because immuno-PET can actively monitor immune response, this technique could help predict which patients will respond to immunotherapeutic regimens.