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07 June 2023

Molecular imaging tool identified for patients at risk of myocarditis

Researchers across King’s College London, the Royal Brompton Hospital and Guy’s Cancer centre have worked collaboratively to identify a non-invasive molecular imaging tool for a receptor of the heart which may be implicated in inflammation.

Myocarditis article image

Inflammation of the heart, known as myocarditis, may occur as a result of cancer immunotherapy agents. However, there is currently no established tool to predict when this may occur.

Researchers Dr Sohaib Nazir, Professor Gary Cook and Dr Daniel Hughes have identified that programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) receptors which are on tumours, are also expressed on the surface of the heart. These can both be quantified using a novel single domain antibody radiotracer NM-01.

These findings will have important applications for cardiologists, oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and researchers interested in molecular imaging.

This project shows promise for risk prediction of patients and showcases how collaborative working across King’s Health Partners can be used to develop novel imaging techniques for potential use in the cardio-oncology clinic.

Dr Sohaib Nazir, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist, School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences

This is the first step to determining if this imaging method will be useful to predict, diagnose and monitor patients with myocarditis associated with immunotherapy with the ultimate aim of reducing the incidence and optimising outcomes in patients at high-risk.

Prof Gary Cook, Prof of Molecular Imaging
Myocarditis article image_2_V2

Future studies are now needed to determine the potential prognostic value of this imaging biomarker as a risk predictor for patients at risk of myocarditis.

The research paper has been published in the EJNMI Research Journal. You can read the paper here.

In this story

Gary Cook

Professor of PET Imaging

Sohaib  Nazir

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist