Author(s): Wattenberg MM, Fahim A, Ahmed MM, Hodge JW, Wattenberg MM, Fahim A, Ahmed MM, Hodge JW, Wattenberg MM, Fahim A, Ahmed MM, Hodge JW
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Abstract There is increasing evidence of the potential for radiation therapy to generate antitumor immune responses. The mechanisms of this immune-activating potential include actions on tumor cells such as immunogenic cell death and phenotypic change. Radiation modulates tumor cell surface expression of cell death receptors, tumor-associated antigens and adhesion molecules. This process of immunomodulation sensitizes tumor cells to immune-mediated killing. Radiation also affects immune compartments, including antigen-presenting cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes and humoral immunity, leading to specific antitumor immune responses. Recognizing the importance of immunity as a potentiator of response to radiation leads to rational augmentation of antitumor immunity by combining radiation and immunotherapy. Targeted immunotherapy manipulates the immune system in a way that best synergizes with radiation. This article discusses the ability of radiation monotherapy to induce antitumor immunity, with a focus on the effect of radiation on antigen-presenting cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes. We define two important responses generated by tumor cells, immunogenic cell death and immunomodulation, both of which are radiation dose-dependent. In conclusion, we describe the translation of several combination therapies from the preclinical to the clinical setting and identify opportunities for further exploration.
This article was published in Radiat Res
and referenced in Immunotherapy: Open Access