Original Articles: CutaneousBrain Radiation Induced Extracranial Abscopal Effects in Metastatic MelanomaD’Andrea, Mark A. MD, FACRO; Reddy, G. Kesava PhD, MHAAuthor Information University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers, Houston, TX The authors declare no conflicts of interest. Reprints: G. Kesava Reddy, PhD, MHA, University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers, 12811 Beamer Road, Houston, TX 77089. E-mail: [email protected]. American Journal of Clinical Oncology: December 2020 - Volume 43 - Issue 12 - p 836-845 doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000760 Buy Metrics Abstract Historically, the brain has been viewed as a specialized neurovascular inert organ with a distinctive immune privilege. Therefore, radiation-induced extracranial abscopal effects would be considered an unusual phenomenon due to the difficulty of the immunogenic signaling molecules to travel across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, it is now possible that localized central nervous system radiation has the ability to disrupt the structural integrity of the BBB and increase its endothelial permeability allowing the free passage of immunogenic responses between the intracranial and extracranial compartments. Thus, the nascent tumor–associated antigens produced by localized brain radiation can travel across the BBB into the rest of the body to modulate the immune system and induce extracranial abscopal effects. In clinical practice, localized brain radiation therapy–induced extracranial abscopal effects are a rarely seen phenomenon in metastatic melanoma and other advanced cancers. In this article, we provide a detailed overview of the current state of knowledge and clinical experience of central nervous system radiation–induced extracranial abscopal effects in patients with malignant melanoma. Emerging data from a small number of case reports and cohort studies of various malignancies has significantly altered our earlier understanding of this process by revealing that the brain is neither isolated nor passive in its interactions with the body’s immune system. In addition, these studies provide clinical evidence that the brain is capable of interacting actively with the extracranial peripheral immune system. Thus, localized radiation treatment to 1 or more locations of brain metastases can induce extracranial abscopal responses. Collectively, these findings clearly demonstrate that localized brain radiation therapy–induced abscopal effects traverses the BBB and trigger tumor regression in the nonirradiated extracranial locations. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.