The dramatic changes in the technological delivery of radiation therapy, the repertoire of molecular targets for which pathway inhibitors are available, and the cellular and immunologic responses that can alter long-term clinical outcome provide a potentially unique role for using the radiation-inducible changes as therapeutic targets. Various mathematical models of dose and fractionation are extraordinarily useful in guiding treatment regimens. However, although the model may fit the clinical outcome, a deeper understanding of the molecular and cellular effect of the individual dose size and the adaptation to repeated exposure, called multifraction (MF) adaptation, may provide new therapeutic targets for use in combined modality treatments using radiochemotherapy and radioimmunotherapy. We discuss the potential of using different radiation doses and MF adaptation for targeting transcription factors, immune and inflammatory response, and cell “stemness.” Given the complex genetic composition of tumors before treatment and their adaptation to drug treatment, innovative combinations using both the pretreatment molecular data and also the MF-adaptive response to radiation may provide an important role for focused radiation therapy as an integral part of precision medicine and immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research