Doubling down with radioimmunotherapy

Anticipated as one of the most promising areas of cancer research, immunotherapy is commanding attention and strengthening hope as the front runner in cancer therapeutics. In particular, radioimmunotherapy—the combination of immunotherapy and radiation ther apy—is hailed as a breakthrough treatment for cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Not surprisingly, this field is generating excitement, as well as many questions, as it rapidly advances clinically and commercially.1 We are excited to feature radioimmunotherapy as the March focus, with two review articles offering free SA-CME credit.

The first review, The safety and efficacy of combined immunotherapy and radiation therapy, examines the rationale for employing radioimmunotherapy and better quantifying its toxicities. With a general focus on stereotactic body radiation therapy, this thoughtful article describes preliminary evidence on the efficacy of treating patients on immune checkpoint inhibitors with this combination approach.

The second review, Combining immunotherapy with radiation therapy to induce the abscopal response: What clinical and treatment variables matter?, provides a timely update on demographic, clinical, and treatment factors associated with the abscopal response and improved outcomes for metastatic disease. This article provides an overview of how radioimmunotherapy may have an encouraging role in inducing this rare clinical event.

This month’s Technology Trends article further examines trials regarding radioimmunotherapy, as well as its potential in personalized medicine and beyond.

As always, we are also pleased to showcase a variety of original research articles, case reports and editorials in the issue, the latter of which impart terrific advice while shredding the taboo of failing, or fear of failing, when pursuing research as a resident (see Resident Voice) or beginning your first real job after residency (see Viewpoint).

Since this is our first issue of the year, I would again like to congratulate the winners of ARO’s 2018 Article of the Year contests:

Review Article winner: Improving the therapeutic index for nonoperable esophageal cancer patients with modern radiation technologies, Michael D. Chuong, MD, Miami Cancer Institute, et al

Research Article winner: Postprostatectomy radiation therapy for biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, Michael Schloss, MS-III, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, et al

Case Report winner: Severe contact dermatitis secondary to metal contaminants in radiation therapy paint pens, Islam Younes, MD, MD Anderson Cancer Center, et al

We are excited to offer the articles of the year contest again in 2019, with awards up to $1,000. For details, please see

Thank you for your continued engagement, ideas and contributions as we enter our eighth year of serving the radiation oncology community! We look forward to another exciting year ahead.


  1. Research and Markets. Radioimmunotherapy Market, 2022. March 15, 2018. Accessed March 1, 2019.


Suh JH. Doubling down with radioimmunotherapy. Appl Radiat Oncol. 2019;(1):4.

March 18, 2019