Dr. Schoenfeld on Preventing Immune Suppression With Radiation and Immunotherapy Combos

Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, MD, MPhil, MPH
Published: Wednesday, Nov 02, 2016


Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, MD, MPhil, MPH, director, melanoma radiation oncology, physician, assistant professor of radiation oncology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses challenges with immune suppression with radiation and immunotherapy combinations.
 
Currently radiation in the locally advanced setting is given in small daily doses over 4 to 7 weeks, says Schoenfeld. There is a concern, especially when the radiation is given to a large portion of the body, that it can act as an immune suppresser. This may not be the best way to radiation in combination with immunotherapy.
 
However, in the past several years there has been a dramatic increase in focal radiation, including stereotactic body radiotherapy. Because this is a much more focused type of radiation it may better combine with immunotherapy, says Schoenfeld.
 

Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, MD, MPhil, MPH, director, melanoma radiation oncology, physician, assistant professor of radiation oncology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses challenges with immune suppression with radiation and immunotherapy combinations.
 
Currently radiation in the locally advanced setting is given in small daily doses over 4 to 7 weeks, says Schoenfeld. There is a concern, especially when the radiation is given to a large portion of the body, that it can act as an immune suppresser. This may not be the best way to radiation in combination with immunotherapy.
 
However, in the past several years there has been a dramatic increase in focal radiation, including stereotactic body radiotherapy. Because this is a much more focused type of radiation it may better combine with immunotherapy, says Schoenfeld.
 

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