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Lesson of the month: novel method to quantify neutrophil uptake in early lung cancer using SPECT-CT
  1. Neda Farahi1,
  2. Daniel Gillett2,
  3. Mark Southwood3,
  4. Doris Rassl3,
  5. Nicola Tregay1,
  6. Uta Hill4,
  7. Stephen Denis Preston3,
  8. Chrystalla Loutsios1,
  9. Laurence Si Chong Lok1,
  10. Sarah Heard2,
  11. John Buscombe2,
  12. Robert Campbell Rintoul5,6,
  13. A Michael Peters7,
  14. Charlotte Summers1,
  15. Edwin R Chilvers8
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  4. 4Cambridge Centre for Lung Infection, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  5. 5Department of Thoracic Oncology, Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  6. 6Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  7. 7Department of Nuclear Medicine, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  8. 8National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neda Farahi, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK; nf231{at}


Neutrophils play an important role in the lung tumour microenvironment. We hypothesised that radiolabelled neutrophils coupled to single-photon emission CT (SPECT) may non-invasively quantify neutrophil uptake in tumours from patients with non-small cell lung cancer. We demonstrated increased uptake of radiolabelled neutrophils from the blood into tumours compared with non-specific uptake using radiolabelled transferrin. Moreover, indium-111-neutrophil activity in the tumour biopsies also correlated with myeloperoxidase (MPO)-positive neutrophils. Our data support the utility of imaging with In-111-labelled neutrophils and SPECT-CT to quantify neutrophil uptake in lung cancer.

  • lung cancer
  • neutrophil biology
  • imaging/CT MRI etc

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  • CS and ERC are joint senior authors.

  • Contributors NF, NT, LSCL, DR, MS, SDP and CL performed experiments and analysed data. NF drafted the manuscript, with contributions from the other authors as appropriate. EC, AMP and CS designed the study. JB, UH, SH, RCR and DG contributed to study design, analysis and interpretation. RCR recruited patients for the study. EC and CS were responsible for the conduct of the study. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

  • Funding This research was supported by funding from the Medical Research Council [MR/J00345X/1], the Wellcome Trust [098351/Z/12/Z] and the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. RCR and DMR are part funded by the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and the Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Centre.

  • Competing interests EC has received grants and personal fees from GlaxoSmithKline and Roche, and grants from AstraZeneca, MedImmune, and Boehringer Ingelheim, outside of the submitted work. Work in CS’ laboratory is supported by research grants from the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, AstraZeneca/MedImmune, Bristol Myers Squibb, and GlaxoSmithKline.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval All subjects gave written informed consent. The study was approved by the Cambridgeshire Research Ethics Committee (13/EE/0130) and the Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee of the UK (83/400/33426) and conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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