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Oncol Lett. 2019 Nov;18(5):5011-5021. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.10893. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Combination of checkpoint inhibitors with radiotherapy in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma treatment: A novel strategy.

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Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China.
Department of Oncology, Chongqing Qianjiang Central Hospital, Chongqing 409000, P.R. China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Chongqing Qianjiang Central Hospital, Chongqing 409000, P.R. China.
Department of General Surgery, Chongqing Qianjiang Central Hospital, Chongqing 409000, P.R. China.
Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


Despite the rapid development of numerous types of treatment, including radiotherapy (RT) as the main strategy, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has a poor prognosis. Recent studies demonstrated that immunotherapy can improve the survival of patients with locally advanced and metastatic ESCC. Furthermore, previous studies reported that the expression of programmed death-ligand 1 is significantly associated with esophageal cancer prognosis. At present, several ongoing clinical trials have extended the use of immunotherapy from palliative and salvage treatments to neoadjuvant treatment with concurrent chemoradiation. The first- or second-line treatments were used to explore antitumor efficacy with reduced adverse events. The combination of RT and immunotherapy can exert a local therapeutic effect and improve the function of the immune system, enhancing antitumor efficacy. This review investigated the role of immunotherapy and radiotherapy in ESCC and described the potential efficacy of combining immunotherapy with radiotherapy in ESCC.


checkpoint inhibitors; esophageal cancer; immunotherapy; radiotherapy

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