At present, this exciting approach is limited to studies of very small animals like mice. Dr. Owen Witte, a leading cancer biologist and immunologist and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles, says the real excitement will come as we are able to adapt and modify whole body imaging of immune response to use with humans. He says that thanks to collaboration between clinicians and scientists from a wide variety of disciplines, the time may not be that far away.
Speaking June 15 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)/8th International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Conference (IUBMB) in Boston, Dr. Witte describes how bringing together multiple imaging techniques and modalities from multiple disciplines and laboratories across the country is allowing him and other scientists to better understand the different phases of the immune response.
Using a host of imaging strategies such as radioactively-labeled T cells or cells modified to express jellyfish-like bioluminescence, it is already possible to visualize populations of immune system killer cells as they hone in on and attack solid tumors or blood cells responding to local inflammation.
As this happens, Dr. Witte and other scientists are beginning to glimpse the future and how these techniques will change how the immune response is evaluated during therapy. He is now working with clini
Contact: Sarah Goodwin
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology