The clearance of nonirradiated tumors after localized radiation therapy is known as the abscopal effect. Activation of an antitumor immune response has been proposed as a mechanism for the abscopal effect. Here we report a patient with metastatic melanoma who received palliative radiation to his primary tumor with subsequent clearance of all his nonirradiated in-transit metastases. Anti-MAGEA3 antibodies were found upon serological testing, demonstrating an association between the abscopal effect and a systemic antitumor immune response. A brain recurrence was then treated with a combination of stereotactic radiosurgery and immunotherapy with ipilimumab. The patient experienced a complete remission that included resolution of nodal metastases, with a concomitant increase in MAGEA3 titers and a new response to the cancer antigen PASD1. This case supports the immune hypothesis for the abscopal effect, and illustrates the potential of combining radiotherapy and immunotherapy in the treatment of melanoma.
Published by Elsevier Inc.