Dr. Sampath on Safety of Immunotherapy Plus Radiation in Lung Cancer

Sagus Sampath, MD
Published: Thursday, Feb 15, 2018



Sagus Sampath, MD, assistant professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, City of Hope, discusses the safety profile of immunotherapy in combination with radiation in the treatment of patients with lung cancer.

The addition of radiation to checkpoint inhibitors may boost the clinical outcomes of patients with lung cancer. Experts are questioning whether administering radiation therapy during treatment with a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor could provide significant responses to checkpoint blockade in these patients.

Sampath says that adverse events with radiation are often limited to where the radiation took place. Both radiation and immunotherapy can cause lung side effects and inflammation. In targeting the cancer cells with either radiation or immunotherapy, the health of the surrounding cells must be taken into consideration, Sampath says. If the treatment becomes too potent for the surrounding cells, side effects such as pneumonitis can occur, especially with radiation.

Combining radiation with immunotherapy is a relatively new technique, and Sampath says that understanding the efficacy and side effects of the regimen will come with experience.


Sagus Sampath, MD, assistant professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, City of Hope, discusses the safety profile of immunotherapy in combination with radiation in the treatment of patients with lung cancer.

The addition of radiation to checkpoint inhibitors may boost the clinical outcomes of patients with lung cancer. Experts are questioning whether administering radiation therapy during treatment with a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor could provide significant responses to checkpoint blockade in these patients.

Sampath says that adverse events with radiation are often limited to where the radiation took place. Both radiation and immunotherapy can cause lung side effects and inflammation. In targeting the cancer cells with either radiation or immunotherapy, the health of the surrounding cells must be taken into consideration, Sampath says. If the treatment becomes too potent for the surrounding cells, side effects such as pneumonitis can occur, especially with radiation.

Combining radiation with immunotherapy is a relatively new technique, and Sampath says that understanding the efficacy and side effects of the regimen will come with experience.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: Oncology Best Practice™: Choosing Therapies for Patients with EGFR-mutant Lung Cancers: More Options... More Decisions... Better OutcomesApr 27, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations Across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersApr 28, 20182.0
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