Conference Coverage

SABCS opening plenary to address potential of RT to transform tumors into vaccines


 

Silvia Formenti, MD, will open the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) with a plenary talk on the potential for radiotherapy (RT) to convert irradiated metastatic breast tumors into individualized, in situ vaccines.

“DNA damage response contributes to immune rejection of tumors, a mechanism at least in part responsible for the success of platinum and RT combinations. RT-induced cell death can evoke T-cell memory, inducing effects outside the irradiated field, defined as abscopal. In the setting of metastatic cancer, however, the occurrence of abscopal effects is extremely rare because of the established immune-suppressive microenvironment. Thus, the proimmunogenic effect of radiotherapy is best exploited in combination with immunotherapy, and the combination of RT and immune checkpoint blockade has matured to reach clinical translation,” Dr. Formenti, of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, wrote in the abstract.

Dr. Formenti and her colleagues have translated preclinical work into clinical trials in metastatic breast cancer, as well as other tumors. Her presentation will focus on the mechanisms and on the ongoing work to determine the appropriate RT dose and fractionation to achieve abscopal responses.

Dr. Formenti will present the opening plenary on Wednesday Dec. 6 at 9 a.m. in Hall 3 of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

The rest of the SABCS schedule and abstracts to be presented are available here. The symposium is sponsored by the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the American Association for Cancer Research, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

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