Vol 6, No 2 (Apr 2017): Combining Radiation Therapy and Immunotherapy for Thoracic Malignancies

Posted On 2017-06-13 14:57:08

This focused issue of Translational Lung Cancer Research details the current pre-clinical and clinical evidence supporting the use of immunotherapy for the treatment of thoracic malignancies, including for NSCLC, SCLC, thymic malignancies, and malignant pleural mesothelioma, as well as for unique disease considerations such as oligometastases, recurrent tumors being treated with reirradiation, and patients receiving palliative radiotherapy. Advances in thoracic radiation therapy are described, and the rationale for combining radiation therapy with immunotherapy is highlighted, including a discussion of the potential synergistic response that can be achieved when combining these modalities and how this treatment combination could potentiate the antitumor effects of the systemic immune response to treatment. Radiotherapy dose, fractionation, timing relative to immunotherapy and modality sequencing, and toxicity consideration are discussed in detail. Ultimately, much work is still needed to optimize the combination of radiotherapy and immunotherapy across thoracic malignancies, but readers of this focused issue will readily be able to appreciate why there is a state of great excitement for immunotherapy in thoracic malignancies and understand how the addition of radiation therapy may facilitate the next level of success of these increasingly important systemic therapies.