The combination of radiation and chemotherapy, based on a demonstrated preclinical rationale, has involved in the last decades the use of cytotoxic agents as radiosensitizers. Classic chemotherapeutic agents, such as 5-fluouracil and cisplatin, and more recently gemcitabine and taxanes, have been employed in different sequences with radiation therapy, even though the optimal combinations and scheduling are still in evolution. During recent years, due to the highly improved molecular understanding of intrinsic radioresistance and the profiling of cellular response to irradiation, a big effort exists in basic and translational research to identify novel treatment modalities combining radiation therapy with molecules that target very specific molecular pathways.
Keywords: Radiochemotherapy biological rationale, radiation sensitizers, 5-Fluouracil, Platinum, gemcitabine, taxol, epidermal growth factor inhibitors, epigenetic gene expression modulators
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