alexa Autophagy and ionizing radiation in tumors: the "survive or not survive" dilemma.


Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Radiation Therapy

Author(s): Palumbo S, Comincini S

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Abstract Autophagy is a so-called "self-eating" system responsible for degrading long-lived proteins and cytoplasmic organelles, whose products are recycled to maintain cellular homeostasis. This ability makes autophagy a good candidate for a survival mechanism in response to several stresses, including the tumor cell transformation. In particular, recent studies suggested that autophagy functions as a pro-death mechanism within different tumor contexts. It is, however, widely reported that autophagy represents both a survival mechanism or contributes directly to cell death fate. This interplay of the autophagy functions has been observed in many types of cancers and, in some cases, autophagy has been demonstrated to both promote and inhibit antitumor drug resistance. From a therapeutical point of view, the effects of the modulation of the tumor cell autophagic status, in response to ionizing radiations, are presently of particular relevance in oncology. Accordingly, this review also provides a perspective view on future works for exploring the modulation of autophagic indices in tumor cells as a novel molecular-based adjuvant strategy, in order to improve radiotherapy and chemotherapy effects in cancer patients. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This article was published in J Cell Physiol and referenced in Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Radiation Therapy

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