On the Immunological Consequences of Conventionally Fractionated Radiotherapy

Juan Carlos L. Alfonso, Lito A. Papaxenopoulou, Pietro Mascheroni, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Haralampos Hatzikirou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence demonstrates that radiotherapy induces immunogenic death on tumor cells that emit immunostimulating signals resulting in tumor-specific immune responses. However, the impact of tumor features and microenvironmental factors on the efficacy of radiation-induced immunity remains to be elucidated. Herein, we use a calibrated model of tumor-effector cell interactions to investigate the potential benefits and immunological consequences of radiotherapy. Simulations analysis suggests that radiotherapy success depends on the functional tumor vascularity extent and reveals that the pre-treatment tumor size is not a consistent determinant of treatment outcomes. The one-size-fits-all approach of conventionally fractionated radiotherapy is predicted to result in some overtreated patients. In addition, model simulations also suggest that an arbitrary increase in treatment duration does not necessarily result in better tumor control. This study highlights the potential benefits of tumor-immune ecosystem profiling during treatment planning to better harness the immunogenic potential of radiotherapy.

Original languageBritish English
Article number100897
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2020


  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer
  • Mathematical Biosciences


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