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Harnessing tumor immune ecosystem dynamics to personalize radiotherapy

By G. Daniel Grass, Juan C.L. Alfonso, Eric Welsh, Kamran A. Ahmed, Jamie K. Teer, Louis B. Harrison, John L Cleveland, James J. Mulé, Steven A. Eschrich, Heiko Enderling, Javier F. Torres-Roca

Posted 12 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.11.944512

Radiotherapy is a pillar of cancer care and augments the response to immunotherapies. However, little is known regarding the relationships between the tumor immune ecosystem (TIES) and intrinsic radiosensitivity, and a pressing question in oncology is how to optimize radiotherapy to improve patient responses to immune therapies. To address this challenge, we profiled over 10,000 primary tumors for their metrics of radiosensitivity and immune cell infiltrate (ICI), and applied a new integrated in silico model that mimics the dynamic relationships between tumor growth, ICI flux and the response to radiation. We then validated this model with a separate cohort of 59 lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. These analyses explain radiation response based on its effect on the TIES and quantifies the likelihood that radiation can promote a shift to anti-tumor immunity. Dynamic modeling of the relationship between tumor radiosensitivity and the TIES may provide opportunity to personalize combined radiation and immunotherapy approaches.

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