Research published today in the New England Journal of Medicineby scientists at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) showed that combining targeted radiation therapy with immunotherapy (ipilimumab), fostered a strong immune response and a favorable clinical outcome in a patient with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. The size of both the tumor that was treated with radiation and distant tumors in the patient were reduced. This study is a rare example of a documented case of an immune response, known as the abscopal effect, in cancer treatment. The research team led by Jedd Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Member of LICR, Associate Attending Physician and Director of Immunotherapy Clinical Trials at MSKCC and Director of the CRI/LICR Cancer Vaccine Collaborative, took their findings a step further by investigating how the immune system may have played a role in the enhanced tumor regression. “We evaluated whether there were changes in the blood, which would help us to understand why the combined ipilimumab/radiation treatment improved the patient’s response,” said Dr. Wolchok.
Read more: Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research