Immunotherapy: Checkpoint Inhibitors

One immunotherapy approach is to block the ability of certain proteins, called immune checkpoint proteins, to limit the strength and duration of immune responses. These proteins normally keep immune responses in check by preventing overly intense responses that might damage normal cells as well as abnormal cells. But, researchers have learned that tumors can commandeer these proteins and use them to suppress immune responses. Blocking the activity of immune checkpoint proteins releases the “brakes” on the immune system, increasing its ability to destroy cancer cells.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors: current status and the role of radiology in assessment of benefit

Alexandra Snyder, Adaptive Biotechnologies, New York, New York, USA

This session is dedicated to describing some of the advances in immunotherapy, and checkpoint inhibitors and identifying the potential opportunities for molecular imaging. We will discuss the general principles of immunotherapy, and the recent steps forward in checkpoint blockade therapies. Also included is a short discussion about important (but still with many questions) biomarkers. The presentation will end by discussing the many challenges facing this technology and some future directions.


Therapy response monitoring of a highly efficient T cell and checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy in mice with progressed pancreatic cancer with 18F-FDG-PET/MRI

Barbara Schorg, Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University, Tubingen, Germany

This presentation describes how a new combination of initial 2 Gy WBR + Tag2-Th1 cell transfer + anti-PD-L1/anti-LAG-3 treatment is highly efficient in an experimental tumor mouse model with progressed pancreatic cancer. Also described is how 18F-FDG PET/MRI imaging of T cell activation might be able to distinguish therapy responders from non-responders in patients with inhibitory checkpoint blockade, especially in melanoma patients with PD-1 antibody treatment.

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