Unprecedented 18F-CD8 PET Imaging to Revolutionize Cancer Immunotherapy Monitoring

GE HealthCare is making history with the first patient scanned in a Phase I clinical trial of [18F]GEH200521, a novel fluorine-18 PET radiopharmaceutical that is specific to CD8+ T cells – a powerful subpopulation of white blood cells in the fight against cancer. This groundbreaking development is at the forefront of oncology treatments, marking a major step forward in immunotherapy.

Today, around 5000 immunotherapies are in their active development stages, with a strong focus on activating CD8+ T cells both inside and outside of tumors. In order to gain insightful findings on which patients would be most likely to respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors, the main class of immunotherapies currently approved for use, clinical trials are using an investigational radiopharmaceutical to observe levels of CD8+ T cells.

Further along, whole-body imaging will be used to monitor CD8 changes over time, thus providing physicians support in identifying early responses to immunotherapies and enabling patients to receive alternate treatment options as soon as possible if the current one proves to be ineffective.

The clinical trial, initiated in the Netherlands, is studying 18F-CD8 PET – a radiopharmaceutical – for its safety and tolerability in cancer patients. This revolutionary new imaging method could yield results as soon as one hour after administration, eliminating the need for multiple visits and providing more convenience. What’s more, sequential imaging could detect even modest spatiotemporal changes in CD8+ T cells within two to four days of administering immunotherapy, compared to the usual months taken by the RECIST approach.

Immune checkpoints inhibitors are powerful tools in fighting cancer, but not all patients respond favorably. This is why a new tracer has been unveiled – to better select and predict the individuals who will respond to these treatments, potentially reducing unecessary interventions and giving earlier access to alternative healing options.

For those making and researching these therapies, this tracer could prove invaluable in better understanding the impact of immunotherapy on a patient’s immune response to their cancer, allowing for better patient selection in clinical trials and a speedier route to market with new therapies.

Dr. Ken Herrmann, Section Editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, said: “The clinical translation of a fluorine-18 PET tracer that targets CD8 would be a significant breakthrough in the field, not just for patients but also in the world of drug development.”

Dr. Paul Evans, Head of Global Research & Development with GE HealthCare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics segment, outlined the potential of immunotherapies to transform patients’ lives, despite the challenges of low response rates, serious adverse effects, and high costs.

In order to individualize diagnosis and treatment for each patient, GE HealthCare is committed to leading innovation and working alongside pharmaceutical companies and the oncology research community to develop a new class of cutting-edge imaging diagnostics.

GE HealthCare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics segment is on the cutting edge of imaging technology. Its Molecular Imaging portfolio is a game-changer in the healthcare industry, allowing around 100 million procedures to be carried out each year.

This incredible capability translates to three patient procedures happening every second! The transformative portfolio of products spans cardiology, neurology and oncology, revolutionizing how doctors can diagnose and monitor their patients in order to make more informed therapy decisions and achieve better clinical outcomes.

About GE HealthCare Technologies Inc.

GE HealthCare is revolutionizing healthcare. For more than 100 years, we have been on a mission to create a world where healthcare has no limits. We are an $18.3 billion business, with 50,000 employees dedicated to providing integrated solutions, services, and data analytics to make hospitals more efficient, clinicians more effective, therapies more precise, and patients healthier and happier.

Through Imaging, Ultrasound, Patient Care Solutions, and Pharmaceutical Diagnostics, we are transforming healthcare by making personalized, connected, and compassionate care simpler and easier to access along all points of the care pathway. Join us in our journey to create a world where healthcare has no limits.

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