Activation of local and systemic anti-tumor immune responses by ablation of solid tumors with intratumoral electrochemical or alpha radiation treatments

Yona Keisari*, Ilan Hochman, Hila Confino, Rafi Korenstein, Itzhak Kelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cancer, the most devastating chronic disease affecting humankind, is treated primarily by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Surgery and radiotherapy are mainly used for debulking the primary tumor, while chemotherapy is the most efficient anti-metastatic treatment. To control better metastatic cancer, the host immune system should be stimulated. Yet, successful specific stimulation of the immune system against tumors was seldom achieved even in antigenic tumors. Our working hypothesis is that aggressive in situ tumor ablation can release tumor antigens and danger signals, which will enhance anti-tumor T cell responses resulting in the destruction of residual malignant cells in primary tumors and distant metastases. We developed two efficient in situ ablation treatments for solid cancer, which can be used to destroy the primary tumors and stimulate anti-tumor immune responses. The first treatment, electrochemical ablation, is applied through intratumoral electrodes, which deliver unipolar-pulsed electric currents. The second treatment, diffusing alpha-emitters radiation therapy (DaRT), is based on intratumoral 224Ra-loaded wire(s) that release by recoil its daughter atoms. These short-lived alpha-emitting atoms spread in the tumor and spray it with lethal alpha particles. It was confirmed that these treatments effectively destroy various malignant animal and human primary solid tumors. As a consequence of such tumor ablation, tumor-derived antigenic material was released and provoked systemic T cell-dependent anti-tumor immunological reactions. These reactions conferred protection against a secondary tumor challenge and destroyed remaining malignant cells in the primary tumor as well as in distant metastases. Such anti-tumor immune responses could be further amplified by the immune adjuvant, CpG. Electrochemical ablation or DaRT together with chemotherapy and immunostimulatory agents can serve as treatment protocols for solid metastatic tumors and can be applied instead of or in combination with surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Alpha radiation
  • Anti-tumor immunity
  • CITIM 2013
  • Electrochemical ablation
  • Pulsed electric currents
  • Tumor ablation


Dive into the research topics of 'Activation of local and systemic anti-tumor immune responses by ablation of solid tumors with intratumoral electrochemical or alpha radiation treatments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this