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Eur J Cancer. 2009 May;45(8):1352-69. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2008.12.018. Epub 2009 Jan 17.

Nitric oxide delivery to cancer: why and how?

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  • 1Unit of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Universit√© catholique de Louvain (UCL), Avenue E. Mounier 52, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.


Hypoxia and blood flow heterogeneities are characteristics of solid tumours and are major obstacles for therapy. Exploiting the biology of nitric oxide (NO), a small radical with multiple functions, is particularly attractive to circumvent these sources of resistance and to sensitise tumour to cytotoxic treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Indeed, while NO mediates angiogenic effects, NO may also promote tumour perfusion, drug delivery and oxygenation. Different strategies to deliver NO to tumours and pertaining to the FECS-EJC award laureate's work are reviewed, with a focus on their therapeutic potential. The development of techniques to monitor how and to which extent NO delivery influences the phenotype of a given tumour in a given patient is also discussed.

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