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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, Volume 88, Issue 5, April 2014, Pages 1188-1195. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.12.043. Copyright © Elsevier Inc.


PURPOSE: Radiation therapy (RT) is thought to produce clinical responses in cancer patients, not only through direct toxicity to cancer cells and supporting tumor stroma cells, but also through activation of immunologic effectors. More recently, RT has potentiated the local and systemic effects of cancer immunotherapy (IT). However, combination regimens that maximize immunologic and clinical efficacy remain undefined.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: We evaluated the impact of local RT on adenoviral-mediated vaccination against the colorectal cancer antigen GUCY2C (Ad5-GUCY2C) in a murine subcutaneous tumor model using mouse CT26 colon cancer cells (CT26-GUCY2C). Immune responses were assessed by ELISpot, and clinical responses were assessed by tumor size and incidence.

RESULTS: The specific sequence of tumor-directed RT preceding Ad5-GUCY2C IT transformed inactive therapeutic Ad5-GUCY2C vaccination into a curative vaccine. GUCY2C-specific T cell responses were amplified (P

CONCLUSIONS: Optimal sequencing of RT and IT amplifies antigen-specific local and systemic immune responses, revealing novel acute and long-term therapeutic antitumor protection. These observations underscore the importance of modality sequence optimization before the initiation of clinical trials of RT and IT to maximize immune and antitumor responses.

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