PET scans to steer treatment of cancer patients

Thursday 11 May 2023, 12:30 pm
PhD student
S.R. Verhoeff
prof. dr. C.M.L. van Herpen, prof. dr. M. van den Heuvel, prof. dr. S. Heskamp
dr. E.H.J.G. Aarntzen

This thesis shows that knowledge on the energy consumption of cancer cells and the presence/absence of specific proteins in the tumor environment can provide insight in the expected course of disease and treatment response. Part 1 reports that a watchful waiting period can be considered as an initial treatment strategy in a subset of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma with little clinical risk factors and tumors that show low energy consumption on a FDG PET scan. In part 2 we report that we can visualize PD-L1 in tumor cells is we inject patients with radiolabeled immunotherapy targeting PD-L1. In patients with lung cancer or relapsed/metastatic head and neck cancer, tumors were visualized and showed variable uptake of the radiolabeled immunotherapy within and between patients. This uptake could not be correlated to the response to immunotherapy treatment.

Sarah Verhoeff (1988) studied medicine at the Radboud University and continued with a specialization internal medicine at the Radboudumc in 2013. In 2017 she started het PhD research at de departments Medical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine. Currently she is in her final stages of her specialization for internist-oncologist.