Novel biological strategies to enhance the radiation therapeutic ratio

Jae Ho Kim, Kenneth A. Jenrow, Stephen L. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Successful anticancer strategies require a differential response between tumor and normal tissue (i.e., a therapeutic ratio). In fact, improving the effectiveness of a cancer therapeutic is of no clinical value in the absence of a significant increase in the differential response between tumor and normal tissue. Although radiation dose escalation with the use of intensity modulated radiation therapy has permitted the maximum tolerable dose for most locally advanced cancers, improvements in tumor control without damaging normal adjacent tissues are needed. As a means of increasing the therapeutic ratio, several new approaches are under development. Drugs targeting signal transduction pathways in cancer progression and more recently, immunotherapeutics targeting specific immune cell subsets have entered the clinic with promising early results. Radiobiological research is underway to address pressing questions as to the dose per fraction, irradiated tumor volume and time sequence of the drug administration. To exploit these exciting novel strategies, a better understanding is needed of the cellular and molecular pathways responsible for both cancer and normal tissue and organ response, including the role of radiation-induced accelerated senescence. This review will highlight the current understanding of promising biologically targeted therapies to enhance the radiation therapeutic ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Oncology Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Radiobiology
  • Radiobiology-mitigators
  • Radioimmunotherapy


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