Goggi, Ramasamy, B., Tan, Y. X., Hartimath, S. V., Tang, J. R., Cheng, P., Msallam, R., Chacko, A.-M., Hwang, Y. Y., &amp; Robins, E. G. (2021). Granzyme B PET Imaging Stratifies Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Response in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Molecular Imaging, 2021, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/9305277
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a notoriously difficult cancer to treat. The recent development of immune checkpoint inhibitors has revolutionised HCC therapy; however, successful response is only observed in a small percentage of patients. Biomarkers typically used to predict treatment response in other tumour types are ineffective in HCC, which arises in an immune-suppressive environment. However, imaging markers that measure changes in tumour infiltrating immune cells may supply information that can be used to determine which patients are responding to therapy posttreatment. We have evaluated [18F]AlF-mNOTA-GZP, a radiolabeled peptide targeting granzyme B, to stratify response to ICIs in a HEPA 1-tumours, a syngeneic model of HCC. Posttherapy, in vivo tumour retention of [18F]AlF-mNOTA-GZP was correlated to changes in tumour volume and tumour-infiltrating immune cells. [18F]AlF-mNOTA-GZP successfully stratified response to immune checkpoint inhibition in the syngeneic HEPA 1-6 model. FACS indicated significant changes in the immune environment including a decrease in immune suppressive CD4+ T regulatory cells and increases in tumour-associated GZB+ NK+ cells, which correlated well with tumour radiopharmaceutical uptake. While the immune response to ICI therapies differs in HCC compared to many other cancers, [18F]AlF-mNOTA-GZP retention is able to stratify response to ICI therapy associated with tumour infiltrating GZB+ NK+ cells in this complex tumour microenvironment.
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
This research / project is supported by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) - Industry Alignment Fund Pre-Positioning (IAF-PP)
Grant Reference no. : H18/01/a0/018