Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Molecular Imaging in Immunotherapy: A Systematic Review

Version 1 : Received: 8 March 2021 / Approved: 9 March 2021 / Online: 9 March 2021 (11:12:55 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Liberini, V.; Laudicella, R.; Capozza, M.; Huellner, M.W.; Burger, I.A.; Baldari, S.; Terreno, E.; Deandreis, D. The Future of Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment and Surveillance: A Systemic Review on Immunotherapy and Immuno-PET Radiotracers. Molecules 2021, 26, 2201. Liberini, V.; Laudicella, R.; Capozza, M.; Huellner, M.W.; Burger, I.A.; Baldari, S.; Terreno, E.; Deandreis, D. The Future of Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment and Surveillance: A Systemic Review on Immunotherapy and Immuno-PET Radiotracers. Molecules 2021, 26, 2201.

Journal reference: Molecules 2021, 26, 2201
DOI: 10.3390/molecules26082201

Abstract

Immunotherapy is an effective therapeutic option for several cancers. In the last years, the introduction of checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) has shifted the therapeutic landscape in oncology and improved patient prognosis in a variety of neoplastic diseases. However, to date, the selection of the best patients eligible for these therapies, as well as the response assessment is still challenging. Patients are mainly stratified using immunohistochemical analysis of the expression of anti-gens on biopsy specimens, such as PD-L1 and PD-1, on tumor cells, on peritumoral immune cells, and/or in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Recently, the use and development of imaging biomarkers able to assess in-vivo cancer-related processes are becoming more important. Today, positron emission tomography (PET) with 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) is used routinely to evaluate tumor metabolism, and also to predict and monitor response to immunotherapy. Although highly sensitive, FDG-PET, in general, is rather unspecific. Novel radiopharmaceuticals (immuno-PET radiotracers) able to identify specific immune system targets are under investigation in pre-clinical and clinical settings. In this review, we will provide an overview of the main new immuno-PET radiotracers in development. We will also review the main players (immune cells, tumor cells, and molecular targets) involved in immunotherapy. Furthermore, we report current applications and the evidence of using [18F]FDG PET in immunotherapy, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Keywords

immune checkpoint inhibitors; immune checkpoint radiolabeled antibodies; PD-1; PD-L1; immune PET; immunotherapy; AI; Radiomics; Deep learning; CAR-T cells

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