J Cancer 2020; 11(14):4193-4204. doi:10.7150/jca.39354 This issue
Department of Pathology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the malignant tumor with ethnic and geographical distribution preference. Although intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)-based radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy and targeted therapy has dramatically improved the overall survival of NPC patients, there are still some patients suffering from recurrent tumors and the prognosis is poor. Multiple mechanisms may be responsible for radioresistance of NPC, such as cancer stem cells (CSCs) existence, gene mutation or aberrant expression of genes, epigenetic modification of genes, abnormal activation of certain signaling pathways, alteration of tumor microenvironment, stress granules (SGs) formation, etc. We conduct a comprehensive review of the published literatures focusing on the causes of radioresistance, retrospect the regulation mechanisms following radiation, and discuss future directions of overcoming the resistance to radiation.
Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, radioresistance, mechanism