Radiation therapy is used to treat more than half of all cancer patients and remains the single most effective non-surgical modality for the cure of human cancers. Although advances in treatment delivery have enabled innovative dose escalation and hypofractionation approaches with promising results for some malignancies, resistance to therapeutic doses of radiation remains a challenge. Key biological features such as tumor hypoxia, DNA damage response and checkpoint pathways, angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, cancer stem cells, tumor stroma, and immune response pathways all contribute to the complex dynamics governing tumor responses to radiation. A workshop entitled “Radiation Resistance in Cancer Therapy” (held in Bethesda, MD, September 1–3, 2010) was organized by the Divisions of Cancer Biology and the Radiation Research Program at the National Cancer Institute to identify research areas and directions that will advance understanding of radiation resistance in cancer and accelerate the development of strategies...

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