Innovative method to improve cancer immunotherapy

The Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy Department of the University Hospital Tübingen and ImaginAb, a global market leading biotech company, are cooperating in the field of cancer immunotherapy making Tübingen Europe's first center for the production of radiolabeled CD8 minibodies.

ImaginAb will provide Tübingen University Hospital with its CD8 ImmunoPET agent who will radioactively label these so-called CD8 minibodies for non-invasive imaging of a specific group of immune cells and make them available for clinical trials to visualize cytotoxic CD8+ T cells during cancer immunotherapy throughout Europe.

Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells play a central role in immune defense as they can directly destroy tumor cells. Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapies activate these endogenous T cells so that they can attack the tumor cells. However, since not every tumor patient responds to these therapies, innovative methods are needed to select a therapy that is appropriate for the patient. Here, ImaginAb's radiolabeled CD8 minibodies could support medical diagnostics. The radiolabeled minibodies bind to the human CD8 receptor and can be detected non-invasively in the human body using an imaging technique, positron emission tomography (PET), before and during immunotherapy. Current studies indicate that the number and distribution of CD8+ cells present in tumors is a factor that is important for the success of immunotherapy.

Thus, the use of CD8 ImmunoPET could help to find out at an early stage whether a certain therapy is even an option for the patient or whether the therapy is effective, thus saving valuable time and resources in the fight against cancer.

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