Research ArticleCancer

Reporter gene imaging of targeted T cell immunotherapy in recurrent glioma

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Science Translational Medicine  18 Jan 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 373, eaag2196
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2196

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T cells reporting for duty

Cytotoxic T cells engineered to kill tumor cells are becoming a mainstay of cancer immunotherapy. However, no matter how precisely they are engineered, once they are injected into a patient, they are no longer directly monitored or controlled by the researchers. As a result, if the treatment fails to work or causes toxicity, it is not clear whether the therapeutic cells are ineffective or whether they scattered through normal tissues and never reached the tumor. Keu et al. have designed a method to engineer these T cells with a reporter gene such that they can be tracked in people by positron emission tomography. The authors present a clinical trial demonstrating the feasibility and safety of this approach in glioma patients.