The controversial abscopal effect

Joseph Michael Kaminski, Eric Shinohara, James Bradley Summers, Kenneth J. Niermann, Allan Morimoto, Jeffrey Brousal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Scopus citations


The abscopal effect is potentially important for tumor control and is mediated through cytokines and/or the immune system, mainly cell-mediated immunity. It results from loss of growth stimulatory and/ or immunosuppressive factors from the tumor. Until recently, the abscopal effect referred to the distant effects seen after local radiation therapy. However, the term should now be used interchangeably with distant bystander effect. Through analysis of distant bystander effects of other local therapies, we discuss the poorly understood and researched radiation-induced abscopal effect. Although the abscopal effect has been described in various malignancies, it is a rarely recognized clinical event. The abscopal effect is still extremely controversial with known data that both support and refute the concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-172
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Cancer
  • Distant bystander
  • Immune system
  • Radiation
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Kaminski, J. M., Shinohara, E., Summers, J. B., Niermann, K. J., Morimoto, A., & Brousal, J. (2005). The controversial abscopal effect. Cancer Treatment Reviews, 31(3), 159-172.