Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is an immunogenic tumor, but uses several immune-suppressive mechanisms to shift the balance from tumor immune response toward tumor growth. Although RCC has traditionally been considered to be radiation resistant, recent evidence suggests that hypofractionated radiotherapy contributes to systemic antitumor immunity. Because the efficacy of antitumor immune responses depends on the complex balance between diverse immune cells and progressing tumor cells, radiotherapy alone is unlikely to induce persistent antitumor immunity. Therefore, the combination of radiotherapy with drugs having synergistic immunomodulatory properties holds great promise with the optimal timing and sequence of modalities depending on the agent used. We highlight the immunomodulatory properties of targeted therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) neutralizing antibodies, and will suggest a combination schedule with radiotherapy based on the available literature. We also address the combination of radiotherapy with innovative treatments in the field of immunotherapy.

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Department of Pulmonology

De Wolf, K., Vermaelen, K. Y., de meerleer, G., Lambrecht, B., & Ost, P. (2015). The potential of radiotherapy to enhance the efficacy of renal cell carcinoma therapy. OncoImmunology, 4(10). doi:10.1080/2162402X.2015.1042198