Special Session

PS 01 - Presidential Symposium Session I - The Radiation Oncology/Immunotherapy Interface

7:55 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Stars at Night Ballroom

Session Type: Special Session
1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
1.08 CAMPEP Credits
1.00 MDCB Credits

New discoveries and developments in immunotherapy are impacting cancer research, clinical trial design and routine cancer care at a rapidly escalating pace. How best to combine immunotherapy with radiation to optimize benefit for cancer patients? The radiation/immunotherapy interface is explored in this presidential symposium session

Learning Objectives:


Silvia Chiara Formenti, MD, FASTRO

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College: Professor and Chairman: Employee

Astra Zeneca: Advisory Board; BMS: Advisory Board; EISAI: Advisory Board; Elekta: Honoraria; Eli Lilly: Consultant; Janssen: Honoraria; Janssen Pharmaceutials (J&J): Research Grants; Merck: Honoraria, Research Grants; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: Consultant, Honoraria, Speaker's Bureau, Travel Expenses; Smith Kline: Advisory Board; Varian: Speaker's Bureau

Weill Cornell Medical College: Professor and Chairman

Dr. Formenti is the Chair of Radiation Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Associate Director of the Cancer Center.

Trained as a medical and radiation oncologist she devoted her career to translate novel preclinical information to the clinic. Key to her formation was a year spent in Malcolm Mitchell’s laboratory at USC, in cancer immunology. Her initial research on how to best combine radiation and systemic therapy, both pre-clinically and clinically evolved on focusing on the systemic effects of radiotherapy, particularly on the immune system. Her lab’s original demonstration that the abscopal effect of radiotherapy is immune-mediated has opened a fertile field of research to understand the immune-stimulatory and immune-suppressive effects of ionizing radiation, and to develop strategies directed at harnessing anti-tumor immunity in irradiated subjects. This work has introduced a paradigm shift in radiation and cancer biology. In this novel application, radiotherapy contributes at recovering an immunological equilibrium in the setting of metastatic cancer, by converting an irradiated metastasis into an in situ, individualized vaccine in the presence of immune checkpoint blockade (anti-CTLA­4, anti-PDL-1). Once successfully immunized against the irradiated site, the host can develop an anti-tumor immune response capable to reject the other metastases. In some patients with metastatic disease the combination of radiation and immune checkpoint blockade has resulted in complete remissions, sustained for years after treatment (without any other additional interventions). Dr. Formenti’s work has been funded by grants from NIH, DOD, ACS and Breast Cancer Research Foundation and is currently leading four investigator-initiated clinical trials of immunotherapy and radiotherapy.


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PS 01 - Presidential Symposium Session I - The Radiation Oncology/Immunotherapy Interface

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