Ionizing radiation (IR) activates both pro-and anti-proliferative signal pathways producing an imbalance in cell fate decision. IR is able to regulate several genes and factors involved in cell-cycle progression, survival and/or cell death, DNA repair and inflammation modulating an intracellular radiation-dependent response. Radiation therapy can modulate anti-tumour immune responses, modifying tumour and its microenvironment. In this review, we report how IR could stimulate inflammatory factors to affect cell fate via multiple pathways, describing their roles on gene expression regulation, fibrosis and invasive processes. Understanding the complex relationship between IR, inflammation and immune responses in cancer, opens up new avenues for radiation research and therapy in order to optimize and personalize radiation therapy treatment for each patient.
Keywords: Cytokine; Fibrosis; Inflammation; Invasiveness; Ionizing radiation.