Molecular imaging biomarkers for immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy

Link to paper

van de Donk PP, Kist de Ruijter L, Lub-de Hooge MN, Brouwers AH, van der Wekken AJ, Oosting SF, Fehrmann RSN, de Groot DJA, de Vries EGE

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have substantially changed the field of oncology over the past few years. ICIs offer an alternative treatment strategy by exploiting the patients’ immune system, resulting in a T cell mediated anti-tumor response. These therapies are effective in multiple different tumor types. Unfortunately, a substantial group of patients do not respond to ICIs. Molecular imaging, using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET), can provide non-invasive whole-body visualization of tumor and immune cell characteristics and might support patient selection or response evaluations for ICI therapies. In this review, recent studies with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-PET imaging, imaging of immune checkpoints and imaging of immune cells will be discussed. These studies are until now mainly exploratory, but the first results suggest that molecular imaging biomarkers could have a role in the evaluation of ICI therapy.