Exploring the interaction between radiation therapy and immunotherapy in enhancing responses to treatment in breast cancer patients is currently one of the main research interests of Silvia Formenti, MD, associate director, Meyer Cancer Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.
“As radiation oncologists, our challenge is less and less the local control in the field of radiation. The problem is that the patients fail elsewhere in the body,” said Dr. Formenti. “For the oncology community, this is the opportunity to leverage their immune system, in combination with a standard treatment, by using immunotherapy and radiotherapy together.”
According to Dr. Formenti, the relationship between radiation therapy and immunotherapy is a ‘natural synergy.’
“We just need to go through all the diligence of the clinical work and the structure of clinical trial research to demonstrate the efficacy and carefully select the correct combination, the correct sequencing, the correct dose and fractionation for each setting, each tumor, each patient,” she concluded.
Dr. Formenti reports the following disclosures:
Grant/research support from: Bristol Myers Squibb, Varian, Janssen, Regeneron, Eisai, Merck
Honorario from: Briston Myers Squibb, Varian, Elekta, Janssen, Regeneron, GlaxoSmithKline, Eisai, Dynavax, Astra Zeneca, Merck