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Research Progress and Existing Problems for Abscopal Effect

Authors Wang D, Zhang X, Gao Y, Cui X, Yang Y, Mao W, Li M, Zhang B, Yu J

Received 9 January 2020

Accepted for publication 8 June 2020

Published 3 August 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 6695—6706


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo

Di Wang,1,* Xia Zhang,2,* Yajie Gao,1 Xiaonan Cui,1 Yanqin Yang,3 Weifeng Mao,4 Minghuan Li,5 Bin Zhang,1,5 Jinming Yu5

1Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Oncology, The Fifth People’s Hospital of Dalian, Dalian, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Radiation Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People’s Republic of China; 4The School of Basic Medical Sciences, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, People’s Republic of China; 5Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong First Medical University and Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Bin Zhang; Jin Ming Yu Tel/ Fax + 86 411-83635963

Abstract: Radiation therapy plays a vital role in the treatment of tumours. In particular, the occurrence of the “abscopal effect” brings about a favourable turn for the treatment of patients with advanced metastatic malignant tumours. Because of the abscopal effect, non-irradiated areas are also treated. However, the abscopal effect occurs by chance, not through seeking. Although the abscopal effect has been studied enthusiastically, the desired result does not appear to be achieved. Moreover, its combination with immunotherapy appears to be overwhelming. There is an opinion that abscopal effect is difficult to achieve by irradiation of a single tumour, and irradiation of multiple or total lesions is advocated to increase the possibility of obtaining clinically meaningful outcomes. Obviously, there are still questions about the mechanism, condition and possibility underlying the occurrence of the abscopal effect. Can the abscopal effect truly change the future treatment strategy as the researchers expect? What are the current problems? This article reviewed the research in recent years to explore the progress and controversy surrounding the abscopal effect of radiation therapy.

Keywords: radiation therapy, abscopal effect, immunotherapy, immunomodulation, tumour microenvironment

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