Targeted and Non-Targeted Mechanisms for Killing Hypoxic Tumour Cells—Are There New Avenues for Treatment? Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Purpose: A major issue in radiotherapy is the relative resistance of hypoxic cells to radiation. Historic approaches to this problem include the use of oxygen mimetic compounds to sensitize tumour cells, which were unsuccessful. This review looks at modern approaches aimed at increasing the efficacy of targeting and radiosensitizing hypoxic tumour microenvironments relative to normal tissues and asks the question of whether non-targeted effects in radiobiology may provide a new “target”. Novel techniques involve the integration of recent technological advancements such as nanotechnology, cell manipulation, and medical imaging. Particularly, the major areas of research discussed in this review include tumour hypoxia imaging through PET imaging to guide carbogen breathing, gold nanoparticles, macrophage-mediated drug delivery systems used for hypoxia-activate prodrugs, and autophagy inhibitors. Furthermore, this review outlines several features of these methods, including the mechanisms of action to induce radiosensitization, the increased accuracy in targeting hypoxic tumour microenvironments relative to normal tissue, preclinical/clinical trials, and future considerations. Conclusions: This review suggests that the four novel tumour hypoxia therapeutics demonstrate compelling evidence that these techniques can serve as powerful tools to increase targeting efficacy and radiosensitizing hypoxic tumour microenvironments relative to normal tissue. Each technique uses a different way to manipulate the therapeutic ratio, which we have labelled “oxygenate, target, use, and digest”. In addition, by focusing on emerging non-targeted and out-of-field effects, new umbrella targets are identified, which instead of sensitizing hypoxic cells, seek to reduce the radiosensitivity of normal tissues.

publication date

  • August 11, 2021