Tumor radioresistance in clinical radiotherapy implies failure to achieve loco-regional disease control with radiation doses producing an acceptable degree of morbidity. Such radioresistance may be a result of many different causes (biological and technical) which are reviewed in terms of possible remedial actions. Dose response relationships for human cancers suggest that in many sites, tumors are heterogenous with respect to their cure-limiting characteristics. The case is developed that unless the predominant cure-limiting factor can be predicted, little benefit may be seen in trails of new treatment strategies using heterogeneous tumor populations. The fundamental problem of clinical radioresistance is therefore perceived as the inability to predictively identify its cause in the individual patient.