Strategies to assess hypoxic/HIF-1-active cancer cells for the development of innovative radiation therapy

Chan Joo Yeom, Lihua Zeng, Yuxi Zhu, Masahiro Hiraoka, Hiroshi Harada

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    16 Scopus citations


    Local tumor recurrence and distant tumor metastasis frequently occur after radiation therapy and result in the death of cancer patients. These problems are caused, at least in part, by a tumor-specific oxygen-poor microenvironment, hypoxia. Oxygendeprivation is known to inhibit the chemical ionization of both intracellular macromolecules and water, etc., and thus reduce the cytotoxic effects of radiation. Moreover, DNA damage produced by free radicals is known to be more repairable under hypoxia than normoxia. Hypoxia is also known to induce biological tumor radioresistance through the activation of a transcription factor, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). Several potential strategies have been devised in radiation therapy to overcome these problems; however, they have not yet achieved a complete remission. It is essential to reveal the intratumoral localization and dynamics of hypoxic/HIF-1-active tumor cells during tumor growth and after radiation therapy, then exploit the information to develop innovative therapeutic strategies, and finally damage radioresistant cells. In this review, we overview problems caused by hypoxia/HIF-1-active cells in radiation therapy for cancer and introduce strategies to assess intratumoral hypoxia/HIF-1 activity.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3610-3631
    Number of pages22
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



    • Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1)
    • Molecular imaging
    • Radiation therapy
    • Radioresistance
    • Tumor hypoxia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research

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