Harnessing the potential synergy of combining radiation therapy and immunotherapy for thoracic malignancies
Thoracic malignancies are among the most lethal group of tumors. The most common thoracic malignancy, lung cancer, is histologically grouped as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Nearly three-fifths of NSCLC patients and two-thirds of SCLC patients present with stage IV disease, and the median survival of both of these groups approximates one year (1,2). Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a malignancy of the mesothelial lining of the pleura and is associated with a median survival of 12–18 months (3,4). While thymic malignancies often present at an early stage, only approximately half of patients with stage III-IV thymoma will achieve a 5-year survival, and that percentage falls to approximately 30% for patients with stage III-IV thymic carcinoma (5,6).