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ASTRO 2017: Combined High-Dose Radiation and Surgery for Renal Cell Carcinoma

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017

A phase I clinical trial found that combining high-dose stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and radical nephrectomy may be effective in treating patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. In fact, lead author Anurag Singh, MD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, and colleagues indicate their findings provide the first evidence that SBRT can stimulate the immune system. They presented these early study results at the 2017 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 332).

“Our findings provide a striking rationale for looking into even broader combination treatment strategies incorporating not just radiation and surgery but also immunotherapy,” said contributing author Thomas Schwaab, MD, PhD, also of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in a press release.

After receiving SBRT, 14 patients underwent radical nephrectomy, all without postoperative complications. The investigators found that SBRT-treated tumors had increased expression of the immunomodulatory molecule calreticulin, tumor-associated antigen, and percentage of proliferating intratumoral T cells.

The investigators concluded that combining SBRT and immunotherapies may be warranted in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. “It may be possible to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapies by first priming the pump with high-dose radiation,” suggested Dr. Singh.