Radiation and Anti-Cancer Vaccines: A Winning Combination

PMID: 29385680
Journal: Vaccines (volume: 6, issue: 1, Vaccines (Basel) 2018 Jan;6(1))
Published: 2018-01-30

Cadena A, Cushman TR, Anderson C, Barsoumian HB, Welsh JW, Cortez MA


The emerging combination of radiation therapy with vaccines is a promising new treatment plan in the fight against cancer. While many cancer vaccines such as MUC1, p53 CpG oligodeoxynucleotide, and SOX2 may be great candidates for antitumor vaccination, there still remain many investigations to be done into possible vaccine combinations. One fruitful partnership that has emerged are anti-tumor vaccines in combination with radiation. Radiation therapy was previously thought to be only a tool for directly or indirectly damaging DNA and therefore causing cancer cell death. Now, with much preclinical and clinical data, radiation has taken on the role of an in situ vaccine. With both cancer vaccines and radiation at our disposal, more and more studies are looking to combining vaccine types such as toll-like receptors, viral components, dendritic-cell-based, and subunit vaccines with radiation. While the outcomes of these combinatory efforts are promising, there is still much work to be covered. This review sheds light on the current state of affairs in cancer vaccines and how radiation will bring its story into the future.