Imaging of Cancer Immunotherapy: Current Approaches and Future Directions.
Radiology. 2019 Jan;290(1):9-22. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018181349. Epub 2018 Nov 20.
Nishino M1, Hatabu H1, Hodi FS1.
Cancer immunotherapy using immune-checkpoint inhibitors has emerged as an effective treatment option for a variety of advanced cancers in the past decade. Because of the distinct mechanisms of immunotherapy that activate the host immunity to treat cancers, unconventional immune-related phenomena are encountered in terms of tumor response and progression, as well as drug toxicity. Imaging plays an important role in objectively characterizing immune-related tumor responses and progression and in detecting and monitoring immune-related adverse events. Moreover, emerging data suggest a promise for molecular imaging that can visualize the specific target molecules involved in immune-checkpoint pathways. In this article, the background and current status of cancer immunotherapy are summarized, and the current methods for imaging evaluations of immune-related responses and toxicities are reviewed along with their limitations and pitfalls. Emerging approaches with molecular imaging are also discussed as a future direction to address unmet needs.