A global perspective of radiation-induced signal transduction pathways in cancer therapeutics

Seema Gupta, Mansoor M. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Radiation is a well established therapeutic modality for the treatment of solid tumors. By merging molecular biological approaches with radiation biology, a significant number of signaling events elicited by ionizing radiation have been delineated. These signaling pathways include events leading to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis or cell survival. There are two major signaling events that affect radiation response. One is the intrinsic/constitutive pro-survival signaling event that is present in proliferating tumor cells while the other is "induced pro-survival event" in response to radiation, both of these events confer resistance to the killing effects of radiation. In this review, signaling pathways that lead to either apoptosis or survival of cells following ionizing radiation are discussed in detail. In addition, mechanisms of action for gene/drug based inhibitors that modulate the expression and function of various genes and gene products involved in pro-survival signaling pathways are described. Further, novel strategies to abrogate the "induced radiation resistance" leading to enhanced therapeutic efficacy of ionizing radiation have been proposed. These novel strategies include the use of radio-gene therapy, low dose fractionated radiation therapy as a chemopotentiator and therapeutic utility of high radiation dose induced bystander effect. The complete understanding of the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis/survival of cells following ionizing radiation will help in tailoring more effective novel strategies and treatment modalities for complete eradication of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1176
Number of pages24
JournalIndian Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Genes
  • Inhibitors and therapy
  • Radiation
  • Signal transduction pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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