Brooke M. Helfer1, Aaron D. Nelson1, Jelena M. Janjic2, Eric T. Ahrens2,3, Roberto R. Gil4, Pawel Kalinski5, Jolanda de Vries6, Robbie B. Mailliard1
1Research and Development, Celsense, Inc, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 2Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 3Pittsburgh NMR Center for Biomedical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 4Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 5Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 6Department of Pediatric Hemato-Oncology, Nijmegen Center for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Dendritic cells (DCs), the central antigen presenting cells of the immune system, have been widely used in clinical trials as anti-cancer vaccines with mixed success. This is partially due to inabilities to non-invasively track adoptively transferred cells after administration. In this study, we show for the first time that clinically relevant human DCs can be effectively labeled in vitro with commercially 19F-tracers without impact to cell health, phenotype, or function, allowing these cells to be visualized post-injection in vivo by 19F-MRI. This study demonstrates the utility and possible clinical application of this method for monitoring patients in cell therapy trials.