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Varna Medical Forum

Radiotherapy and cell death. Significance of cell death patterns in the radiotherapy of cancer patients

Temenuzhka Radeva-Petkova, Elitsa Encheva, Ivan Donev, Yavor Kashlov

Abstract

Radiotherapy is one of the three main treatment modalities of cancer, together with surgery and chemotherapy. It is applied to 50% - 60% of all cancer patients at a certain stage of their complex treatment, and in more than half of the patients radiotherapy is used with radical intent. The main goal is to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor, while maintaining an acceptable dose to adjacent tissues. The development of modern radiotherapy techniques - 3D conformal radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), leads to significant advances in the therapeutic results. Nevertheless it is still not clear why some tumors are sensitive and others are resistant to irradiation. The main target of ionizing radiation is DNA. By direct and indirect action, ionizing radiation induces structural changes in DNA and cell death. Cell death is equivalent to any process that leads to loss of mitotic activity. The mechanism of radiation-induced cell death has not been fully understood yet. There are many studies that reveal a number of signaling pathways and their role in inducing radiation resistance and sensitivity, respectively. Finding the exact mechanisms of cell death will allow us to discover new target therapies, and combining them with radiotherapy will improve therapeutic results.

Keywords

cancer; radiotherapy; cell death

Full Text


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/vmf.v7i1.5078

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