Combined modality treatment can be used to improve control of the local disease at the expense of increased toxicity. Several randomized trials have demonstrated that this combined modality therapy is better than radiotherapy alone or chemotherapy alone in the treatment of locally advanced diseases. Several new targets as well as potential new radio-sensitizers have been identified. To speed-up the process of developing new combined modality treatments, good preclinical models for optimization of the ratio between efficacy and toxicity and a well established methodology within a network of advanced high-tech laboratories and clinical departments devoted to early phase trials, are mandatory. The Synergy of Targeted Agents and Radiation Therapy (STAR) platform of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) is gathering these tools.
Keywords: Radiotherapy; chemo-radiation; early phase trials; radiobiology; targeted agents.