Herrera lab

Our group is particularly interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which ionizing radiation modulates tumor immunogenicity, as well as harnessing this attribute of radiation to induce therapeutic synergy with immunotherapy in pre-clinical tumor models and cancer patients. In human and mouse models, we investigate the tumor microenvironment before and after radiation therapy and immunotherapy to capture tumor-immune cell interactions and comprehensively examine them in order to discover new pathways associated with successful immunological attack or immune failure. We are also conducting pre-clinical and clinical research on FLASH radiation therapy. We're looking at new ways to boost the therapeutic ratio of FLASH irradiation while also investigating its tissue-protective effects. ...

Research projects

Radiation and Onco-immunology

In an ovarian cancer mouse model intrinsically resistant to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB), we developed a novel radio-immunotherapy combination approach (RACIM) capable of converting "cold" immunologically desert tumors into "hot" inflamed tumors, enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of ICB. In collaboration with other groups (Hi-TIDe Denarda Dangaj group, Center of Experimental Therapeutics, and Service of Immuno-oncology), we brought our innovative radio-immunotherapy combination to the bedside and demonstrated significant therapeutic advantages for some metastatic cancer patients. Currently, we use single cell genomic approaches to understand the molecular states of immune cells and the tumor microenvironment (TME) during RACIM tumor escape or rejection in mouse and human patients. We discovered essential molecular mechanisms that caused T cell dysfunction in tumors. We believe that by addressing these processes, we will be able to remodel the immunosuppressive TME and improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy.


Fernanda Herrera

MD, PhD MERc PD Associate Doctor/Group leader, Service of Radiation Oncology and Service of Immuno Oncology, Department of Oncology UNIL & CHUV

fernanda.herrera@chuv.ch HerreraLab

Other members

Selected Publications

A new method to visualize and to spare the ureters during SBRT for oligo metastatic patients.

Muggeo-Bertin E, Moeckli R, Vallet V, (...), Godin S, Bourhis J, Herrera FG

Technical innovations & patient support in radiation oncology – 2021 Jun 12

Abscopal effect in a patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma treated with palliative radiotherapy and pembrolizumab.

Mampuya WA, Bouchaab H, Schaefer N, (...), Coukos G, Peters S, Herrera FG

Clinical and translational radiation oncology – 2021 Jan 1

Survival of the fetus: cervical cancer and pregnancy, a challenging combination.

Levy L, Meuwly JY, Sarivalasis A, (...), Achtari C, Mathevet P, Herrera FG

Lancet (London, England) – 2020 Sep 5

High versus low dose irradiation for tumor immune reprogramming.

Ochoa de Olza M, Bourhis J, Irving M, Coukos G, Herrera FG

Current opinion in biotechnology – 2020 Sep 1

Rational combinations of immunotherapy with radiotherapy in ovarian cancer.

Herrera FG, Irving M, Kandalaft LE, Coukos G

The Lancet. Oncology – 2019 Jul 29

50-Gy Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy to the Dominant Intraprostatic Nodule: Results From a Phase 1a/b Trial.

Herrera FG, Valerio M, Berthold D, (...), Coukos G, Harari A, Bourhis J

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics – 2018 Sep 27

Prostate irradiation with focal dose escalation to the intraprostatic dominant nodule: a systematic review.

Feutren T, Herrera FG

Prostate international – 2018 Mar 27

Radiotherapy combination opportunities leveraging immunity for the next oncology practice.

Herrera FG, Bourhis J, Coukos G

CA: a cancer journal for clinicians – 2016 Aug 29

The role of PET/CT in cervical cancer.

Herrera FG, Prior JO

Frontiers in oncology – 2013 Feb 26

A prospective phase I-II trial of the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib in patients with carcinoma of the cervix with biomarker assessment of the tumor microenvironment.

Herrera FG, Chan P, Doll C, (...), Levin W, Manchul L, Fyles A

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics – 2006 Oct 23

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