Immune Modulation Therapy and Imaging: Workshop Report

J Nucl Med. 2018 Mar;59(3):410-417. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.117.195610. Epub 2017 Aug 17.


A workshop at the National Cancer Institute on May 2, 2016, considered the current state of imaging in assessment of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy has shown some remarkable and prolonged responses in the treatment of tumors. However, responses are variable and frequently delayed, complicating the evaluation of new immunotherapy agents and customizing treatment for individual patients. Early anatomic imaging may show that a tumor has increased in size, but this could represent pseudoprogression. On the basis of imaging, clinicians must decide if they should stop, pause, or continue treatment. Other imaging technologies and approaches are being developed to improve the measurement of response in patients receiving immunotherapy. Imaging methods that are being evaluated include radiomic methods using CT, MRI, and 18F-FDG PET, as well as new radiolabeled small molecules, antibodies, and antibody fragments to image the tumor microenvironment, immune status, and changes over the course of therapy. Current studies of immunotherapy can take advantage of these available imaging options to explore and validate their use. Collection of CT, PET, and MR images along with outcomes from trials is critical to develop improved methods of assessment.

Keywords: biomarkers; imaging cancer; immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Research Report*