With a radioactive tracer, scientists can use a PET scan to quickly tell whether a cancer immunotherapy will be effective or not, reports Stanford Medicine.
“The molecule is a radioactive tracer that latches onto immune cells when they’re activated — the status that immune cells, in particular T cells, assume when they’re poised to kill tumor cells.
“It’s not good enough to just image all T cells; you need to image activated T cells because those are the ones that are going to kill the tumor,” said Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford. “The problem that occurs in other approaches, including ones we’ve previously developed, is that they’re sometimes not specific enough.”
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