Radiotherapy is one of the main treatment strategies used in cancer. Aside from the local control of the disease, which is mediated by a direct cytotoxic effect on tumor cells, radiotherapy has also been shown to exert immune-mediated local and systemic effects. Radiotherapy can elicit anti-tumor responses in distant sites from the radiation field; this phenomenon is known as the abscopal effect and has been described in patients previously treated with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Considering that the efficacy of immunotherapy has been demonstrated only in a subset of patients—who often benefit with lasting responses—efforts are ongoing to potentiate its activity with the development of new combination strategies. Radiotherapy might represent a potential candidate for a synergistic combination with immunotherapy, by improving the immunogenicity of tumors and by enhancing local and systemic immune effects. This review aims to summarize the current pre-clinical and clinical data on the immune effects of radiotherapy and their potential implications for cancer immunotherapy.

The abscopal effect in the era of cancer immunotherapy: a spontaneous synergism boosting anti-tumor immunity?

Solinas, Cinzia;Porcu, Michele;Saba, Luca;Scartozzi, Mario
2018-01-01

Abstract

Radiotherapy is one of the main treatment strategies used in cancer. Aside from the local control of the disease, which is mediated by a direct cytotoxic effect on tumor cells, radiotherapy has also been shown to exert immune-mediated local and systemic effects. Radiotherapy can elicit anti-tumor responses in distant sites from the radiation field; this phenomenon is known as the abscopal effect and has been described in patients previously treated with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Considering that the efficacy of immunotherapy has been demonstrated only in a subset of patients—who often benefit with lasting responses—efforts are ongoing to potentiate its activity with the development of new combination strategies. Radiotherapy might represent a potential candidate for a synergistic combination with immunotherapy, by improving the immunogenicity of tumors and by enhancing local and systemic immune effects. This review aims to summarize the current pre-clinical and clinical data on the immune effects of radiotherapy and their potential implications for cancer immunotherapy.
2018
Oncology; Cancer research; Pharmacology (medical)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/249992
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