Nanotheranostics 2022; 6(3):286-305. doi:10.7150/ntno.66556 This issue


Molecular Immune Targeted Imaging of Tumor Microenvironment

Taha Rakhshandehroo, PhD1, Bryan Ronain Smith, PhD2, Hannah J. Glockner, PhD1, Mohammad Rashidian, PhD1, Neeta Pandit-Taskar, MD3✉

1. Department of Imaging, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
3. Department of Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Rakhshandehroo T, Smith BR, Glockner HJ, Rashidian M, Pandit-Taskar N. Molecular Immune Targeted Imaging of Tumor Microenvironment. Nanotheranostics 2022; 6(3):286-305. doi:10.7150/ntno.66556. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Novel targeted therapies are rapidly emerging for the treatment of cancer. With the advent of new immune targeting agents, understanding the changes in the tumor microenvironment (TME) is critical. Given the complexity and several cellular mechanisms and factors that play a role in the TME, novel imaging methods to assess and evaluate the dynamic changes in the TME during treatment are needed. Several techniques are being developed for imaging TME including optical, fluorescence and photoacoustic methods. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging can be used to track the dynamics of different molecular targets in the TME in live animals and in humans. Several novel PET imaging probes including radiolabeled antibodies, antibody fragments, and small molecules have been developed with many more that are under development preclinically and in early human studies. This review is a brief overview of some of the PET agents that are either in the preclinical developmental phase or undergoing early clinical studies.

Keywords: Biomarker, radiolabeled antibody, checkpoint inhibitors, PD-1, PD-L1, FDG