Purpose: Despite the strong interest in combining stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SAR) with immunotherapy, limited data characterizing the systemic immune response after SAR are available. We hypothesized that the systemic immune response to SAR would differ by irradiated site owing to inherent differences in the microenvironment of various organs. Methods and Materials: Patients receiving SAR to any organ underwent prospective blood banking before and 1 to 2 weeks after SAR. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and serum were isolated. PBMCs were stained with fluorophore-conjugated antibodies against T and natural killer (NK) cell markers. Cells were interrogated by flow cytometry, and the results were analyzed using FlowJo software. Serum cytokine and chemokine levels were measured using Luminex. We analyzed the changes from before to after therapy using paired t tests or 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Bonferroni's post-test. Results: A total of 31 patients had evaluable PBMCs for flow cytometry and 37 had evaluable serum samples for Luminex analysis. The total number of NK cells and cytotoxic (CD56dimCD16+) NK cells decreased (P =.02) and T-cell immunoglobulin- and mucin domain–containing molecule-3–positive (TIM3+) NK cells increased (P =.04) after SAR to parenchymal sites (lung and liver) but not to bone or brain. The total memory CD4+ T cells, activated inducible co-stimulator–positive and CD25+CD4+ memory T cells, and activated CD25+CD8+ memory T cells increased after SAR to parenchymal sites but not bone or brain. The circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (P =.04) and multiple chemokines, including RANTES (P =.04), decreased after SAR to parenchymal sites but not bone or brain. Conclusions: Our data suggest SAR to parenchymal sites induces systemic immune changes, including a decrease in total and cytotoxic NK cells, an increase in TIM3+ NK cells, and an increase in activated memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. SAR to nonparenchymal sites did not induce these changes. By comparing the immune response after radiation to different organs, our data suggest SAR induces systemic immunologic changes that are dependent on the irradiated site.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|State||Accepted/In press - Jan 1 2018|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research