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Application of Radiosensitizers in Cancer Radiotherapy

Authors Gong L, Zhang Y, Liu C, Zhang M, Han S

Received 18 November 2020

Accepted for publication 19 January 2021

Published 12 February 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 1083—1102


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mian Wang

Liuyun Gong,1 Yujie Zhang,2,3 Chengcheng Liu,2 Mingzhen Zhang,2,3 Suxia Han1

1Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710061, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Basic Medical Sciences, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710061, People’s Republic of China; 3Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Ministry of Education, Xi’an, Shaanxi, 710061, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Mingzhen Zhang; Suxia Han Email;

Abstract: Radiotherapy (RT) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Although great success has been achieved on radiotherapy, there is still an intractable challenge to enhance radiation damage to tumor tissue and reduce side effects to healthy tissue. Radiosensitizers are chemicals or pharmaceutical agents that can enhance the killing effect on tumor cells by accelerating DNA damage and producing free radicals indirectly. In most cases, radiosensitizers have less effect on normal tissues. In recent years, several strategies have been exploited to develop radiosensitizers that are highly effective and have low toxicity. In this review, we first summarized the applications of radiosensitizers including small molecules, macromolecules, and nanomaterials, especially those that have been used in clinical trials. Second, the development states of radiosensitizers and the possible mechanisms to improve radiosensitizers sensibility are reviewed. Third, the challenges and prospects for clinical translation of radiosensitizers in oncotherapy are presented.

Keywords: radiosensitizers, cancer radiotherapy, therapeutics, nanomedicine, mechanism

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