Vol. 3, Issue 4 (2015)
Cancer is a multifactorial disease that in many cases requires multimodal treatment involving combination of conventional chemo and radiotherapy. Radiotherapy kills cancer cells and normal cells equally which imposes limitation to cancer treatment. Failure of cancer treatment in clinic by radio/chemotherapy is generally attributed to resistance of tumor.Therefore it is essential to develop strategies to increase cytotoxicity of tumor cells by radiation in combination with new tumor selective cytotoxic agents. Research has facilitated the identification of various herbal compounds capable to increase toxic effect of ionizing radiation to tumor cells and spare normal cells thereby; reducing the undesirable side effects. Ellagic acid (EA) is one such polyphenol which has shown anticancer properties in vitro and in vivo. Involvement of ROS is suggested in radio-cytotoxicity and apoptosis. Recent studies have shown that radiosensitivity of normal and tumor cells was governed by their susceptibility to undergo apoptotic death. Therefore, a new line of research is needed to focus on finding inducers of apoptosis in tumor cells leaving events of apoptosis in normal cells unaffected. This strategy requires the integration of radiobiological concepts and the knowledge of the molecular biological mechanisms involved in apoptosis induction. This article focuses on potential of EA as a potent radiosensitizer involving initiation of radiation induced apoptosis in cervical tumor cells.
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