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Dr. Jonathan Schoenfeld of Synergy of Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer

Jonathan Schoenfeld, MD, MPH
Published Online:8:08 PM, Tue February 23, 2016

Jonathan Schoenfeld, MD, MPH, attending radiation oncologist, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital, discusses the immunologic effects of chemotherapy plus radiation, as well as radiation alone.

Schoenfeld says he and his team looked at chemokines, part of the cytokines family, and their mediation abilities outside the treatment field, as well as circulating T cells. He adds that some T cells investigated included CD8-positive T cells, CD4-positive T cells, as well as markers of active T cells and T regulatory cells.

Schoenfeld says chemotherapy and radiation have long been used for their immune suppressive effects, though chemotherapy and radiation given in a certain way can cause immunologic cell death. This ability could synergize with immunotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade treatments currently being developed.

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