According to a study carried out by researchers from the Centre for PET at Austin Health in Melbourne and Bayer Healthcare using florbetaben-PET imaging on 45 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), progression to Alzheimer’s disease occurred in 75%of MCI with high florbetaben uptake, compared with 53% of MCI with hippocampal atrophy.Furthermore they also found that 80% of MCI with both high florbetaben uptake and hippocampal atrophy progressed to Alzheimer’s, while 19% of MCI subjects with low florbetaben developed other dementias. The researchers concluded that high florbetaben binding indicated a “very high risk of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s within two years and was a stronger and more specific risk factor than hippocampal atrophy in this cohort.” For more information, refer to the Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

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At the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, a team of researchers is working on what can be the future in the battle against cancer. Radioactive reporter genes are embedded in lymphocytes, which have been genetically modified to recognize antigens on the surface of melanoma cells. The researchers were able to pack together the cancer specific T-cell receptor and the radioactively labeled reporter genes in a single vector and inject it into the intact immune systems of mice. By using PET imaging, the lymphocytes can be tracked.
By imaging the genetically engineered T cells as they seek out and attack the cancer, the processes of the immune system unfold. In the case of mice, within two to three days after being injected into the bloodstreams of the mice, the cells had found and begun to fight the melanoma. This could take much longer in humans, though.
Monitoring the immune response by PET imaging, could show whether the treatment is working or not, and why not. It also could show how the lymphocytes might be engineered to better fight the tumors.
It is expected that clinical trials in humans could start in one or two years.
For more details, please refer to the article published July 12, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Kinetic phases of distribution and tumor targeting by T cell receptor engineered lymphocytes inducing robust antitumor responses. by Koya RC, Mok S, Comin-Anduix B, Chodon T, Radu CG, Nishimura MI, Witte ON, Ribas A.