The Target Newsletter: Exploiting the immunomodulatory properties of radiation therapy (EM1801A)

Radiation therapy is a classic treatment modality that achieves local control of various solid tumors by targeting a defined field of interest or disease. Hence, it is generally ineffective in controlling widespread disease. Immunotherapy is an effective systemic treatment for metastatic cancer even though a large proportion of patients do not respond because of the immune-evasive and suppressive properties of cancer. However, accumulating evidence suggests that these two treatment modalities in combination may complement each other’s therapeutic impact and offer greater clinical efficacy.


Exploiting the immunomodulatory properties of radiation therapy - Article with References / Endnotes (PDF)

Target Audience

Family practice, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Explain the immunomodulatory changes brought on by radiation therapy to a tumor microenvironment
  • Differentiate between the immune-stimulatory and immune-suppressive properties of tumor irradiation
  • Define the abscopal effect of radiation therapy and in what settings it is observed most commonly
  • Describe the available clinical evidence in support of combining immunotherapy and radiation therapy.​
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.50 AMA
  • 0.50 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Activity Director & Peer Reviewer

David Sher, M.D., MPH
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX
Disclosure: No relevant financial relationships to

Faculty Writer

Raquibul Hannan, M.D., Ph. D
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX
Disclosure: Research Activities-Clinical Trials:   NCT01818986 partially funded by Dendreon ;  NCT 01896271 partially funded by Prometheus.



Accreditation Statement

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

How to Access Course Materials

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  • Return to this course page and select "Take Course" at the bottom of the page.

Available Credit

  • 0.50 AMA
  • 0.50 Attendance


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