Oncology

PET Imaging

The next wave of cancer imaging may involve molecular imaging agents that detect the angiogenesis of many malignant cancers. Protein biomarkers, for instance, may indicate tumour angiogenesis in cancer patients.

This will allow imaging of quantitative changes in the tumour vasculature in cancer patients. Integrins αvβ3 and αvβ5 are heterodimeric transmembrane proteins. They are key mediators of tumour growth, invasion and angiogenesis.

The tumour visibility problem

The breakthroughs in immunotherapy have been ground-breaking in oncology, leading to durable responses in patients with advanced disease. However, the sad fact remains that most cancers do not respond to these therapies. Clinical data generated over the last few years have shown that the visibility of a tumour to the immune system is one of the key determinants of whether a particular cancer will respond. Tumours presenting a high number of non-self cell surface markers (neoantigens) are exquisitely sensitive to T-cell checkpoint therapy because they are more likely to be recognized as ‘foreign’. However, the vast majority of cancers have low neoantigen expression and, as such, are non-responsive to immunotherapy. In order to make the next step change in oncology therapy there is an absolute requirement for a new generation therapies that address the tumour visibility problem.

Grey Wolf Therapeutics commissioned Fusion Animation to develop this video to help explain that rather than targeting the immune system, their approach is to directly alter the tumour cells, illuminating them for attack and destruction by the immune system.

Angiogenisis

Tumour angiogenesis is the proliferation of a network of blood vessels that penetrates into cancerous growths, supplying nutrients and oxygen and removing waste products.