The standard of care for a variety of cancers consists of therapies that are associated with significant toxicity, however, relatively little is known regarding what strategies could be undertaken to reduce treatment toxicity without compromising tumor control. We aim to establish whether targeting the complement system could be used to minimize treatment toxicity while improving tumor sensitivity to radiation. Complement is an important pathway in immunity; however, its inappropriate activation may result in tissue injury. Our data suggests that in response to radiotherapy, expression of complement regulators is decreased significantly in normal colon. Importantly, these expression changes correlate with an increase in the C5b-9 complex (thought to be responsible for cell lysis) in irradiated colon in vivo. Furthermore, our results suggest that targeting the complement system (either genetically or pharmacologically) can result in increased survival of mice following radiotherapy, through protection of the gastrointestinal tract from radiation-induced toxicity.
Citation Format: Monica M. Olcina, Amato J. Giaccia. Targeting the complement system to improve radiation treatment [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr B141.
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