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New PET Probe Images Immune System

Can be used to monitor treatments involving the immune system

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new probe for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging targeting the immune system allows imaging of lymphoid organs and can be used to monitor treatments involving the immune system, according to research published online June 8 in Nature Medicine.

Caius G. Radu, M.D., and colleagues from the University of California Los Angeles performed differential screening to identify PET probes targeting the salvage pathway for DNA synthesis, which is used extensively in lymphoid organs and in rapid proliferating tissues.

The researchers identified [18F]FAC. Compared with other probes, [18F]FAC allowed imaging of lymphoid organs and detection of localized immune activation during a primary anti-tumor immune response in mice. [18F]FAC also detected changes in lymphoid mass in a mouse model of systemic autoimmunity and could be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment with dexamethasone.

"These data support the use of [18F]FAC PET for immune monitoring and suggest a wide range of clinical applications in immune disorders and in certain types of cancer," Radu and colleagues conclude.

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