The prospect of mobilizing the power of the immune system in the fight against cancer has fascinated generations of immunologists. After decades of sporadic successes scattered amongst frequent failures, the field of tumor immunology is now poised to take advantage of a greatly improved understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of immune tolerance. Further enhancing the prospects of cancer immunotherapy are technological advantages that have resulted in sophisticated diagnostic and immune monitoring approaches. Amongst these approaches, molecular imaging has the potential to play a transformational role in the development of highly efficient immune therapies. This brief review outlines recent significant steps in this direction, and discusses strategies to incorporate molecular imaging in the design of the next generation of experimental and clinical cell-based immune interventions against cancer.
Keywords: Adoptive cell transfer therapy, cancer, molecular imaging, bioluminescence imaging, T cells, chimeric activation receptors, PET imaging
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