First clinical experience using fluorine-19 MRI to track immunotherapeutic dendritic cells in colorectal cancer patients
Eric T Ahrens 1 , Anthony Balducci 2 , Brooke Helfer 2 , Amy Wesa 2 , Charles O'Hanlon 2 , Claudiu Schirda 3 , David Bartlett 4 , and Pawel Kalinski 4
Radiology, University of California at San
Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States,
Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, United States,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States,
Oncology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA,
Cell therapies, such as those employing immune or stem
cells, can benefit from non-invasive imaging to
visualize cells following transfer into the patient. We
described the first clinical use of a fluorine-19 MRI
tracer agent designed for MRI cell tracking. We labeled
autologous immunotherapeutic dendritic cells (DCs) with
a perfluorocarbon (PFC) tracer agent ex vivo. Labeled
DCs were inoculated into colorectal cancer patients.
Cells were detected using a 3T scanner using 19F
MRI/MRS. Clinical 19F-based cell tracking is feasible
and provides unambiguous information about the cell
location, with no background signal, and can be used to
quantify cells in situ.
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