Molecular targets for altering radiosensitivity: lessons from Ras as a pre-clinical and clinical model

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2005 Aug;55(2):103-16. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2005.02.001.


Ras activation has been correlated with malignant and metastatic cancer phenotypes and poor prognosis for cancer patients. In the preclinical setting, Ras activation by mutation or EGFR amplification results in increased clonogenic cell survival and decreased tumor growth delay following irradiation. Activation of the Ras pathway has also been associated with increased risk of local failure and decreased overall survival in patients receiving radiotherapy. Prenyltransferase inhibitors target the post-translational processing of Ras and have been shown to increase the radiosensitivity of human cancer cell lines. In the clinical setting, these inhibitors have been used with concurrent radiotherapy in a small number of phase I clinical trials with acceptable toxicity. Therefore, inhibiting Ras activation represents a promising molecular approach for radiosensitization in cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dimethylallyltranstransferase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Radiation Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents / pharmacology
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction
  • ras Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ras Proteins / metabolism


  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
  • Dimethylallyltranstransferase
  • ras Proteins