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In Vivo PET Tracking of 89Zr-Labeled Vγ9Vδ2 T Cells to Mouse Xenograft Breast Tumors Activated with Liposomal Alendronate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2018
Accepted/In press8 Oct 2018
E-pub ahead of print16 Oct 2018
Published2 Jan 2019


King's Authors


Gammadelta T (γδ-T) cells are strong candidates for adoptive immunotherapy in oncology due to their cytotoxicity, ease of expansion and favorable safety profile. The development of γδ-T-cell therapies would benefit from non-invasive cell tracking methods and increased targeting to tumor sites. Here we report the use of [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 to track Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in vivo by positron emission tomography (PET). In vitro, we showed that 89Zr-labeled Vγ9Vδ2 T cells retained their viability, proliferative capacity and anti-cancer cytotoxicity with minimal DNA damage for amounts of 89Zr ≤20 mBq/cell. Using a mouse xenograft model of human breast cancer, 89Zr-labeled γδ T cells were tracked by PET imaging over 1 week. To increase tumor antigen expression, the mice were pre-treated with PEGylated liposomal alendronate. Liposomal alendronate, but not placebo liposomes or non-liposomal alendronate, significantly increased the 89Zr signal in the tumors, suggesting increased homing of γδ-T cells to the tumors. γδ-T-cell trafficking to tumors occurred within 48 h of administration. The presence of γδ-T cells in tumors, liver and spleen was confirmed by histology. Our results demonstrate the suitability of [89Zr]Zr(oxinate)4 as a cell labeling agent for therapeutic T cells and the potential benefits of liposomal bisphosphonate treatment before γδ-T cell administration.

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