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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013 Jul;12(7):526-42. doi: 10.1038/nrd4003.

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

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham 27710, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
23812271
PMCID:
PMC3906736
DOI:
10.1038/nrd4003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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