Combining radiation therapy with immunotherapy has been shown to improve the effectiveness of immune responses against tumors. While radiation can have a direct killing effect on cancer cells, Dr. Stephen Kron is exploring an alternative possibility—that radiation’s true benefits come from its effect on tumor blood vessels. His team has already shown that lower doses of radiation (compared to those required to kill tumors) can disrupt tumor blood vessels and enable improved delivery of checkpoint immunotherapy drugs. Now, Dr. Kron is focused on optimizing this approach and evaluating whether it’s able to improve the tumor-targeting activity of T cells in mice bearing melanoma or other tumors. If successful, using this strategy in the clinic could allow cancer patients to be treated with smaller and fewer doses of both radiation and immunotherapy drugs, while leading to increased benefits and decreased side effects.
University of Chicago | All Cancers | 2017
*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.
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Results unveiled at ASCO20 increased our understanding of checkpoint immunotherapy in a variety of cancers and circumstances.
Several promising cellular immunotherapies were discussed at ASCO20, including those for solid cancers; plus updates on the cancer research community’s response to COVID-19.