Advances in immuno-pet for the detection of cancer and assessment of response to therapy

Mian M. Alauddin, Leslie A. Khawli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against tumor-associated antigens have been shown to target tumors with specificity and selectivity; therefore, it was hypothesized that cancer could be treated with mAbs without side effects. In the early 1980s, clinical studies demonstrated that tumors could be visualized using radiolabeled mAbs. However, with the introduction of positron emission tomography (PET) with18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18 F-FDG), antibody-based imaging be-came less important because of its limited diagnostic accuracy. During the last two decades, a revival of imaging with radiolabeled mAbs has taken place, specifically PET with longer half-life isotopes. Development of immune checkpoints as targets for immunotherapy has opened opportunities for the development of a wide variety of antibodies, such as anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-L1, and anti-PD1. Thus, imaging with these antibodies radiolabeled with89 Zr or another long–half-life PET isotope, known as immuno-PET, has become mainstream. Objective: This study aimed to review the rapid development of immuno-PET for the detection of cancer and assessment of therapeutic response combining surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy. This review includes reports on the radiolabeling, imaging and clinical utility of89 Zr-,64 Cu-and124 I-labeled mAbs. Results: More than 120 research and review articles on immuno-PET were reviewed. Conclusion: Many mAbs have been developed and used for the treatment of cancer; however, a limited number of antibodies have been radiolabeled for immuno-PET. While much progress has been made with the therapeutic applications of mAbs, immuno-PET for diagnosis and treatment assessment needs more research. Improved chelating agents and extensive imaging studies are needed to refine immuno-PET for the diagnosis of cancers and assessment of response to therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-672
Number of pages26
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • CTLA-4
  • Immune system
  • Immuno-PET
  • PD-1
  • PD-L1
  • PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in immuno-pet for the detection of cancer and assessment of response to therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this