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Three studies show how tumors hijack the immune system to resist radiation therapy




More than a decade ago, radiation oncologists noticed a nifty phenomenon: Sometimes radiation used locally against a tumor could excite the immune system to attack cancer systemically throughout the body. It was as if the use of radiation had somehow awoken the immune system to the presence of cancer. Since then, a massive effort has been underway to harness this effect, hoping to create this systemic anti-cancer activity with combinations of radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

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