Radiation therapy is a critical component of cancer treatment with over half of patients receiving radiation during their treatment. Despite advances in image-guided therapy and dose fractionation, patients receiving radiation therapy are still at risk for side effects due to off-target radiation damage of normal tissues. To reduce normal tissue damage, researchers have sought radioprotectors, which are agents capable of protecting tissue against radiation by preventing radiation damage from occurring or by decreasing cell death in the presence of radiation damage. Although much early research focused on small-molecule radioprotectors, there has been a growing interest in gene therapy for radioprotection. The amenability of gene therapy vectors to targeting, as well as the flexibility of gene therapy to accomplish ablation or augmentation of biologically relevant genes, makes gene therapy an excellent strategy for radioprotection. Future improvements to vector targeting and delivery should greatly enhance radioprotection through gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalCancer gene therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 25 2015


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