The Sentinel

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SOCIETY FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY OF CANCER (SITC).

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Giving Cancer the RadScopal™ Treatment

by Alexandra Cadena

In the past decade, many advances in the field of radio-immunotherapy have taken shape. There is undeniable therapeutic synergy between radiation (XRT) and immunotherapy. 

At the Welsh lab at MD AndersonCancer Center, we strive to find new approaches and effective combinations of radiation with checkpoint inhibitors. In our quest, we found ourselves re-thinking not only what the best combination is, but also what is the safest, least toxic, and most translational treatment regimen.

This new frame of reference guided our lab into researching the effects of low dose radiation on systemic immunotherapy outcomes. We stumbled upon what we’ve now trademarked as the RadScopal™ treatment. 

It all started when Dr. Welsh routinely saw patients’ metastases respond to very low dose radiation or the equivalent of background scatter received by lesions outside the field of treatment. With these observations and careful pre-clinical data, that RadScopal™ technique was born!

In our two-tumor PD1-resistant lung cancer murine model, we found that hitting primary tumors with high dose XRT in combination with a low dose XRT directed to secondary tumors optimized the systemic immunotherapy leading to a positive abscopal response in the secondary tumors.

These exciting findings have opened up a whole new avenue of radiation treatment expanding its role from local therapy to systemic anti-tumor treatment. 

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