Yale Radiation Oncologist Searches for the Elusive "Abscopal" Effect

Jane De Lartigue, PhD
Published: Thursday, Nov 21, 2019
Allison Campbell, MD, PhD

Allison Campbell, MD, PhD

Findings from early clinical trials have demonstrated intriguing potential for the combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors and radiation therapy to produce systemic responses in patients with cancer, but much larger studies are needed to establish the population most likely to benefit from this approach, according to Allison Campbell, MD, PhD.

There have been promising results from early trials showing synergy between immunotherapy and radiation, but these abscopal responses are usually seen in a small number of patients. We need to learn all we can about the [patients] who respond well to the combination of immunotherapy and radiation so we can predict who will benefit most and how we might improve the proportion of patients who have a good response.
Campbell AM, Cai WL, Burkhardt D, et al. Final results of a phase II prospective trial evaluating the combination of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) with concurrent pembrolizumab in patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019;105(1):S36-S37. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.06.453.

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