Immunotherapy with Radiation Therapy Shows Promise in Treating Lung Cancer Tumors

Pharmacy Times, September 2014 Oncology, Volume 80, Issue 9

The combined effect of immunotherapy with radiation showed strong results in treating tumors in lung cancer patients, according to the results of a study published August 15, 2014, in Radiation Oncology.

The researchers examined the use of a tumor-specific mRNA-based vaccination combined with radiation in 2 tumor models, a low immunogenic Lewis lung cancer (LLC) tumor, and a high-immunogenic E.G7-OVA. The study evaluated the molecular mechanism that was induced by the combination therapy through gene expression arrays and analyses of tumor-infiltrating cells.

In testing on mice, the researchers used messenger RNA (mRNA)-based cancer vaccines in the combination treatment in the LLC tumor model, which is resistant to different therapeutic regimens, such as Avastin, radiation, and adoptive T-cell transfer.

The researchers found that immunotherapy alone did not inhibit tumor growth, while radiation alone resulted in transient inhibition. The combination of the 2 therapies, however, resulted in a “strong synergistic antitumor effect,” which shows the efficacy of the treatment model in controlling tumor growth in a lowimmunogenic carcinoma. The treatment also increased CD4+, CD8+, and NKT cell infiltration of mouse tumors. The study authors concluded that the combination therapy provides a basis for developing more potent anticancer treatments.