Immuno-thermal ablations - boosting the anticancer immune response

J Immunother Cancer. 2017 Oct 17;5(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s40425-017-0284-8.


The use of immunomodulation to treat malignancies has seen a recent explosion in interest. The therapeutic appeal of these treatments is far reaching, and many new applications continue to evolve. In particular, immune modulating drugs have the potential to enhance the systemic anticancer immune effects induced by locoregional thermal ablation. The immune responses induced by ablation monotherapy are well documented, but independently they tend to be incapable of evoking a robust antitumor response. By adding immunomodulators to traditional ablative techniques, several researchers have sought to amplify the induced immune response and trigger systemic antitumor activity. This paper summarizes the work done in animal models to investigate the immune effects induced by the combination of ablative therapy and immunomodulation. Combination therapy with radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation, and microwave ablation are all reviewed, and special attention has been paid to the addition of checkpoint blockades.

Keywords: Checkpoint inhibition; Combination Therapy; Cryoablation; Microwave ablation; Radiofrequency ablation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods*
  • Cryosurgery / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*