In order to achieve a high efficacy in cancer therapies which use radiation and/or hyperthermia, it is necessary to study and understand two important signal transduction pathways which can depress cell survival signals and simultaneously enhance cell death signals. Recent progress in molecular biology has provided information about these molecules and the associated mechanisms involved in their signaling and functioning. Targeting therapies have thus been examined to look for those which can affect genes capable of inducing a high efficiency in killing cancer cells after exposures to radiation and/or hyperthermia therapies. Target genes which function in cell survival signal transduction pathways, DNA repair, and protein repair are of primary interest. In contrast, apoptosis- and necrosis-inducing factors have an important role in leading to cell death in response to therapies. In this review, results from recent research efforts in Nara University are discussed.
Keywords: p53, signal transduction, radiation, hyperthermia, cancer therapy
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