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BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy enhances innate and adaptive anti-tumour immunity. It is unclear whether this effect may be harnessed by combining immunotherapy with radiotherapy fractions used to treat prostate cancer. We investigated tumour immune microenvironment responses of pre-clinical prostate cancer models to radiotherapy. Having defined this landscape, we tested whether radiotherapy-induced tumour growth delay could be enhanced with anti-PD-L1. METHODS: Hypofractionated radiotherapy was delivered to TRAMP-C1 and MyC-CaP flank allografts. Tumour growth delay, tumour immune microenvironment flow-cytometry, and immune gene expression were analysed. TRAMP-C1 allografts were then treated with 3 × 5 Gy ± anti-PD-L1. RESULTS: 3 × 5 Gy caused tumour growth delay in TRAMP-C1 and MyC-CaP. Tumour immune microenvironment changes in TRAMP-C1 at 7 days post-radiotherapy included increased tumour-associated macrophages and dendritic cells and upregulation of PD-1/PD-L1, CD8+ T-cell, dendritic cell, and regulatory T-cell genes. At tumour regrowth post-3 × 5 Gy the tumour immune microenvironment flow-cytometry was similar to control tumours, however CD8+, natural killer and dendritic cell gene transcripts were reduced. PD-L1 inhibition plus 3 × 5 Gy in TRAMP-C1 did not enhance tumour growth delay versus monotherapy. CONCLUSION: 3 × 5 Gy hypofractionated radiotherapy can result in tumour growth delay and immune cell changes in allograft prostate cancer models. Adjuncts beyond immunomodulation may be necessary to improve the radiotherapy-induced anti-tumour response.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1089 - 1100