Nanotheranostics 2021; 5(1):90-112. doi:10.7150/ntno.50860


Noninvasive Imaging of Cancer Immunotherapy

Omar Abousaway1*, Taha Rakhshandehroo1*, Annick D. Van den Abbeele1,2, Moritz F. Kircher1,2, Mohammad Rashidian1✉

1. Department of Imaging, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
2. Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
# In memory of Moritz F. Kircher.

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Abousaway O, Rakhshandehroo T, Van den Abbeele AD, Kircher MF, Rashidian M. Noninvasive Imaging of Cancer Immunotherapy. Nanotheranostics 2021; 5(1):90-112. doi:10.7150/ntno.50860. Available from

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Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of several malignancies. Notwithstanding the encouraging results, many patients do not respond to treatments. Evaluation of the efficacy of treatments is challenging and robust methods to predict the response to treatment are not yet available. The outcome of immunotherapy results from changes that treatment evokes in the tumor immune landscape. Therefore, a better understanding of the dynamics of immune cells that infiltrate into the tumor microenvironment may fundamentally help in addressing this challenge and provide tools to assess or even predict the response. Noninvasive imaging approaches, such as PET and SPECT that provide whole-body images are currently seen as the most promising tools that can shed light on the events happening in tumors in response to treatment. Such tools can provide critical information that can be used to make informed clinical decisions. Here, we review recent developments in the field of noninvasive cancer imaging with a focus on immunotherapeutics and nuclear imaging technologies and will discuss how the field can move forward to address the challenges that remain unresolved.

Keywords: Noninvasive Imaging, Cancer Immunotherapy