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J Thyroid Res. 2011;2011:762905. doi: 10.4061/2011/762905. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Hypoxia-inducible factor in thyroid carcinoma.

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1
Hypoxia and Therapeutics Group, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.

Abstract

Intratumoural hypoxia (low oxygen tension) is associated with aggressive disease and poor prognosis. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 is a transcription factor activated by hypoxia that regulates the expression of genes that promote tumour cell survival, progression, metastasis, and resistance to chemo/radiotherapy. In addition to hypoxia, HIF-1 can be activated by growth factor-signalling pathways such as the mitogen-activated protein kinases- (MAPK-) and phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinases- (PI3K-) signalling cascades. Mutations in these pathways are common in thyroid carcinoma and lead to enhanced HIF-1 expression and activity. Here, we summarise current data that highlights the potential role of both hypoxia and MAPK/PI3K-induced HIF-1 signalling in thyroid carcinoma progression, metastatic characteristics, and the potential role of HIF-1 in thyroid carcinoma response to radiotherapy. Direct or indirect targeting of HIF-1 using an MAPK or PI3K inhibitor in combination with radiotherapy may be a new potential therapeutic target to improve the therapeutic response of thyroid carcinoma to radiotherapy and reduce metastatic burden.

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