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Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, M.D., Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2006

PET scan tracer predicts success of cancer ‘vaccine’

Via Stanford University | May 14, 2018

By engineering a special molecule to track certain immune cells in the body, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have invented a litmus test for the effectiveness of a newly devised cancer therapy.

The molecule is a radioactive tracer that latches onto immune cells when they’re activated — the status that immune cells, in particular T cells, assume when they’re poised to kill tumor cells.

“It’s not good enough to just image all T cells; you need to image activated T cells because those are the ones that are going to kill the tumor,” said Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford. “The problem that occurs in other approaches, including ones we’ve previously developed, is that they’re sometimes not specific enough. I could image tumor patients who’ve yet to receive an immunotherapy; they’ll sometimes show T cells in their tumors, but those T cells aren’t always activated and killing tumor cells… Continue reading.

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Imaging agent helps predict success of lung cancer therapy

Via Stanford University | March 7, 2018

Doctors contemplating the best therapy for lung cancer patients may soon be able to predict the efficacy of a widely used lung cancer drug based on an imaging agent and a simple scan, according to the findings of a new clinical trial co-led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers developed a PET scan-compatible imaging agent engineered to seek out a specific mutation found in nonsmall cell lung cancer (which accounts for about 80 percent of lung cancers), bind to it and emit a radioactive signal that flags its presence. In addition to exposing the molecular roots of tumors, the imaging agent reveals potential weak spots in the cancer where specific therapeutic drugs can be administered to counteract the pro-tumor mutation.

“Some people wonder, ‘Can’t you just prescribe the drug and wait to see if the tumor shrinks? If it shrinks, then you know it’s working,’” said Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford… Continue reading.

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Stanford develops novel PET tracer to ID most bacterial infections

Via Health Imaging | October 12, 2017

Bacteria are experts at mutating to become resistant to any antibiotic treatment. With no promise of stagnation, it is no wonder that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for medical scientists to develop new novel diagnostics to detect and help regulate the treatment of infections and infectious diseases.

A new study featured in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine describes how Stanford University scientists developed a novel imaging agent that could be used to detect most bacterial infections and monitor antibiotic treatment.

“We really lack tools in the clinic to be able to visualize bacterial infections,” explained Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, and chair of the radiology department and director of Precision Health. “What we need is something that bacteria eat that your cells, so-called mammalian cells, do not. As it turns out, there is such an agent, and that agent is maltose, which is taken up only by bacteria because they have a transporter, called a maltodextrine transporter, on their cell wall that is able to take up maltose and small derivatives of maltose… Continue reading.

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Novel PET tracer identifies most bacterial infections

Via Medical Xpress.com | October 5, 2017

Stanford University medical scientists have developed a novel imaging agent that could be used to identify most bacterial infections. The study is the featured basic science article in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine’s October issue.

Bacteria are good at mutating to become resistant to antibiotics. As one way to combat the problem of antimicrobial resistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for the development of novel diagnostics to detect and help manage the treatment of infectious diseases.

“We really lack tools in the clinic to be able to visualize bacterial infections,” explains Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, chair of the Radiology Department and director of Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics at Stanford University in California. “What we need is something that bacteria eat that your cells, so-called mammalian cells, do not. As it turns out, there is such an agent, and that agent is maltose, which is taken up only by bacteria because they have a transporter, called a maltodextrine transporter, on their cell wall that is able to take up maltose and small derivatives of maltose… Continue reading.

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Four Medical School Professors Elected Fellows Of AAAS

Via Stanford | December 1, 2014

Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiology and director of the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford, was elected for his work in multimodal molecular imaging of living subjects.

In his work, Gambhir, who has a particular interest in cancer biology and gene therapy, combines advances in molecular and cell biology with those in biomedical imaging. He holds the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professorship in Cancer Research.

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