Strategies for optimizing the response of cancer and normal tissues to radiation

Moding, Everett J.; Kastan, Michael B.; Kirsch, David G.
July 2013
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery;Jul2013, Vol. 12 Issue 7, p526
Academic Journal
Approximately 50% of all patients with cancer receive radiation therapy at some point during the course of their treatment, and the majority of these patients are treated with curative intent. Despite recent advances in the planning of radiation treatment and the delivery of image-guided radiation therapy, acute toxicity and potential long-term side effects often limit the ability to deliver a sufficient dose of radiation to control tumours locally. In the past two decades, a better understanding of the hallmarks of cancer and the discovery of specific signalling pathways by which cells respond to radiation have provided new opportunities to design molecularly targeted therapies to increase the therapeutic window of radiation therapy. Here, we review efforts to develop approaches that could improve outcomes with radiation therapy by increasing the probability of tumour cure or by decreasing normal tissue toxicity.


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