The current literature contains a small number of case series and individual case reports that describe radiographic regression of extracranial tumors after treatment of one or more brain metastases with radiation therapy. These observations suggest an abscopal effect that traverses the blood-brain barrier. The purpose of this review is to describe the clinical evidence for this phenomenon and potential mechanistic relationships between radiation, the blood-brain barrier, and the abscopal effect. Among reported cases, the majority of patients received systemic immunotherapy, which is consistent with an immunologic mechanism underlying abscopal responses. Preclinical data suggest that radiation may play multiple roles in this process, including the release of tumor-associated antigens and disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Future studies investigating the abscopal effect would benefit from more rigorous methods to control for patient and treatment factors that may affect distant tumor response.
View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.4207
View details for Web of Science ID 000462072400002
View details for PubMedID 31114726
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6505720