Combining radiotherapy with immunotherapy: the past, the present and the future

Br J Radiol. 2017 Aug;90(1076):20170157. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20170157. Epub 2017 May 25.


The advent of immunotherapy is currently revolutionizing the field of oncology, where different drugs are used to stimulate different steps in a failing cancer immune response chain. This review gives a basic overview of the immune response against cancer, as well as the historical and current evidence on the interaction of radiotherapy with the immune system and the different forms of immunotherapy. Furthermore the review elaborates on the many open questions on how to exploit this interaction to the full extent in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Immunotherapy / trends*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Neoplasms / therapy*