Purpose:

Radiotherapy (RT) is a widely employed anticancer treatment. Emerging evidence suggests that RT can elicit both tumor-inhibiting and tumor-promoting immune effects. The purpose of this study is to investigate immune suppressive factors of radiotherapy.

Experimental Design:

We used a heterologous two-tumor model in which adaptive concomitant immunity was eliminated.

Results:

Through analysis of PD-L1 expression and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) frequencies using patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells and murine two-tumor and metastasis models, we report that local irradiation can induce a systemic increase in MDSC, as well as PD-L1 expression on dendritic cells and myeloid cells, and thereby increase the potential for metastatic dissemination in distal, nonirradiated tissue. In a mouse model using two distinct tumors, we found that PD-L1 induction by ionizing radiation was dependent on elevated chemokine CXCL10 signaling. Inhibiting PD-L1 or MDSC can potentially abrogate RT-induced metastasis and improve clinical outcomes for patients receiving RT.

Conclusions:

Blockade of PD-L1/CXCL10 axis or MDSC infiltration during irradiation can enhance abscopal tumor control and reduce metastasis.

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