Immunotherapy and radiation therapy in renal cell carcinoma

Veronica Mollica, Matteo Santoni, Vincenzo Di Nunno, Alessia Cimadamore, Liang Cheng, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Nicola Battelli, Rodolfo Montironi, Francesco Massari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The management of renal cell carcinoma is rapidly evolving and immunotherapy, mostly consisting of immune checkpoint inhibitors, is revolutionizing the treatment scenario of metastatic patients. Novel fractionation schedules of radiotherapy, consisting of high doses in few fractions, can overcome the radioresistance of this tumor. Localized radiotherapy is associated with a systemic effect, known as the abscopal effect. This effect mediated by the immune system can be en-hanced associating radiotherapy with immunotherapy. Objective: In this review, we explore the role of radiotherapy and immunotherapy in RCC, the ra-tionale of combining these strategies and the on-going clinical trials investigating combinations of the-se two treatment modalities. Conclusion: Combining immunotherapy and radiotherapy has a strong rationale and pre-clinical stud-ies support their association because it can overcome the immunosuppression of the tumor microenvironment and increase the anti-tumor immune response. More clinical evidence, deriving from onclinical trials, are needed to prove the efficacy and safety of these treatments combined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1475
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2020


  • Abscopal effect
  • Immune checkpoint-inhibitors
  • Immunotherapy
  • PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors
  • Radiotherapy
  • Renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Immunotherapy and radiation therapy in renal cell carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this