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Has pairing immunotherapy with radiation been a successful cancer treatment?

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There are good reasons for doctors to be excited about pairing immunotherapy drugs with radiation that shrinks tumors and kills cancer cells:

  • Radiation affects some immune cells; immunotherapy can reverse this damage.
  • Studies show that radiation can make cancer cells vulnerable to attack by the immune system.
  • Combining radiation with immunotherapy drugs has been studied in breast cancer, lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, prostate cancer, melanoma, uterine cancer, and sarcoma.

From: Combination Care for Cancer WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “What is Combination Therapy?”

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: “Nivolumab with chemotherapy improves response, survival in AML study patients.”

Clinical and Translational Science : “Immunotherapy and Novel Combinations in Oncology: Current Landscape, Challenges, and Opportunities.”

American Association for Cancer Research: “Stepping Into the Era of Combination Cancer Therapies, Part 1: Combining Immunotherapies.”

American Cancer Society: “What is Cancer Immunotherapy?”

Journal of Experimental Medicine : “Combination immunotherapy for cancer.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “FDA Approves An MSK-Pioneered Combination Of Two Cancer-Fighting Drugs.”

Cancer Research Institute: “About Clinical Trials.”

National Cancer Institute: “Immunotherapy,” “Radiation Therapy for Cancer.”

Future Oncology : “The Promise of Combining Radiation Therapy and Immunotherapy.”

Weill Cornell Medicine: “The promise of combining radiotherapy and immunotherapy to treat cancer.”

Cancer Research : “Autophagy Induced by Conventional Chemotherapy Mediates Tumor Cell Sensitivity to Immunotherapy.”

Oncology Live : “Nivolumab Plus Chemotherapy Shows Similar Efficacy to Nivolumab Monotherapy in NSCLC.”

Nature Reviews Cancer : “Combining immunotherapy and targeted therapies in cancer treatment.”

Macmillan Cancer Support: “Nivolumab (OPDIVO).”

National Cancer Institute: "FDA Approves Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Combination for Advanced Kidney Cancer," "Combination of Immunotherapy Drugs Approved for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 20, 2019

SOURCES:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “What is Combination Therapy?”

University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: “Nivolumab with chemotherapy improves response, survival in AML study patients.”

Clinical and Translational Science : “Immunotherapy and Novel Combinations in Oncology: Current Landscape, Challenges, and Opportunities.”

American Association for Cancer Research: “Stepping Into the Era of Combination Cancer Therapies, Part 1: Combining Immunotherapies.”

American Cancer Society: “What is Cancer Immunotherapy?”

Journal of Experimental Medicine : “Combination immunotherapy for cancer.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “FDA Approves An MSK-Pioneered Combination Of Two Cancer-Fighting Drugs.”

Cancer Research Institute: “About Clinical Trials.”

National Cancer Institute: “Immunotherapy,” “Radiation Therapy for Cancer.”

Future Oncology : “The Promise of Combining Radiation Therapy and Immunotherapy.”

Weill Cornell Medicine: “The promise of combining radiotherapy and immunotherapy to treat cancer.”

Cancer Research : “Autophagy Induced by Conventional Chemotherapy Mediates Tumor Cell Sensitivity to Immunotherapy.”

Oncology Live : “Nivolumab Plus Chemotherapy Shows Similar Efficacy to Nivolumab Monotherapy in NSCLC.”

Nature Reviews Cancer : “Combining immunotherapy and targeted therapies in cancer treatment.”

Macmillan Cancer Support: “Nivolumab (OPDIVO).”

National Cancer Institute: "FDA Approves Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Combination for Advanced Kidney Cancer," "Combination of Immunotherapy Drugs Approved for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 20, 2019

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