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Expert Rev Mol Med. 2005 Apr 15;7(6):1-16.

Targeting the molecular basis for tumour hypoxia.

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  • 1Cell Growth Regulation and Angiogenesis Laboratory, Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5NG, UK.


Tumour hypoxia stems from impaired oxygen delivery as a result of a disorganised tumour vasculature and inadequate blood supply. Hypoxic tumours are highly resistant to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and correlate with a poor patient prognosis. Hypoxia is a powerful stimulus for the expression of genes involved in cell survival and angiogenesis. A key factor in this process is hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), which regulates transcription of hypoxia-activated genes. Efforts are currently under way to develop targeted cancer therapeutics to hypoxia-activated pathways, and in particular to the transcription factor HIF.

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