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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


Animals, B7-H1 Antigen, Cell Line, Tumor, Combined Modality Therapy, Disease Models, Animal, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Humans, Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Neoplasm Transplantation, Prostatic Neoplasms, Radiation Dose Hypofractionation, Tumor Microenvironment