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Posted by star on 2017-01-19 13:03:43 Hits:551
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A study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has for the first time demonstrated a way to visualize and monitor the behavior of immune cells used to treat cancer patients.
The new technique allows researchers to see where immunotherapy cells go as they hunt down tumors in the human body. The imaging technique also reveals whether the immune cells, called T cells, have found a tumor; how many T cells have arrived at the tumor; and whether the T cells are alive.
The ability to see whether T cells are attacking tumors is useful both for clinicians trying to learn if a treatment is working in an individual cancer patient and also for researchers trying to understand why immunotherapy doesnt always work.
A paper describing the work will be published online Jan. 18 in Science Translational Medicine. The senior author is Sanjiv "Sam" Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford. Lead authorship of the study is shared by former Stanford postdoctoral scholars Khun Keu, MD; Timothy Witney, PhD; and Shahriar Yaghoubi, PhD.
"We can now watch anywhere in your body where those T cells may be," said Gambhir, who holds the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professorship in Cancer Research. "This is the first demonstration in humans of actually noninvasively imaging the immune system in action with reporter gene technology. Its never been done before in a living human, and without the need to remove any tissue."
The work was done in patients with a type of deadly brain cancer called glioblastoma, but the groundbreaking technique could be used to track immune cells targeting any kind of cancer, Gambhir said.
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