Dr. Ramesh Rengan is currently Chair and Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Professor, Clinical Research Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He also holds a joint appointment as faculty of the Integrated Immunotherapy Research Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His clinical interests include thoracic malignancies, melanomas (including ocular melanoma), renal cell carcinoma, and prostate cancer. Additionally, he has clinical expertise in the use of proton beam therapy in the management of localized and locally advanced solid tumors. His current research focuses on approaches to improve the therapeutic ratio in solid tumors to ionizing photon or proton radiation. His active area of current research is in pre-clinical and clinical strategies to utilize radiation to trigger an anti-tumor immune response in patients with advanced solid malignancies. He also has an interest in healthcare disparities and expanded access to radiation treatment in low-resource environments.
An area of intense scientific interest is in the exploration of the relationship between the immune system and tumor progression. Multiple studies have demonstrated the importance of the immune system in cancer surveillance and treatment response and the aggressive clinical phenotype of malignancy in an immunocompromised host. This presentation will focus on the utilization of radiation an immune modulator that can augment other cancer immunotherapies in immunocompetent patients with locally advanced, oligometastatic and metastatic lung cancer. We will further discuss the current standard of care in cancer immunotherapy and the strengths and limitations of current approaches. Finally, we will discuss future initiatives aimed at trying to optimize radiation as a tool to generate a durable anti-tumor immune response.