Tracking cellular and immune therapies in cancer

Adv Cancer Res. 2014;124:257-96. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-411638-2.00008-2.


The field of tumor immunology has seen an explosion of renewed interest over the last decade. With the FDA approval of new immunotherapies for prostate cancer and melanoma, as well as several exciting new drugs in clinical trials, tumor immunology is becoming an increasingly important topic in preclinical studies and patient care. However, the current methods for assessing the immune status of a patient and tumor are limited, which has led to the development of novel molecular imaging methods for assessing tumor immunology. From cell tracking for cellular therapeutics to assessing the tumor immune microenvironment, these imaging methods have the potential to further preclinical understanding of immunotherapies and potentially translate into clinically useful tests to predict and assess therapeutic response of these exciting new agents. In this review, we first discuss the recent advances in cancer immunotherapy, followed by a detailed review of the current state of molecular imaging for tumor immunology. Finally, we discuss opportunities for further development and innovation in this rapidly growing field.

Keywords: Cancer therapy; Cell tracking; Cellular therapeutics; Diagnostics; Immunotherapy; Magnetic resonance imaging; Positron emission tomography; Reporter genes; Tumor immunology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Tumor Microenvironment*