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Targeting tumor hypoxia in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Authors

  • Bo Hong PhD,

    1. Department of Clinical Oncology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
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  • Vivian Wai Yan Lui PhD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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  • Masumi Hashiguchi BSc,

    1. Department of Biology, The International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Edwin Pun Hui MD,

    1. Department of Clinical Oncology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
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  • Anthony Tak-Cheung Chan MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Oncology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
    2. Cancer Drug Testing Unit, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sir YK Pao Center for Cancer, Department of Clinical Oncology, Hong Kong Cancer Institute and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
    • Department of Clinical Oncology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
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Abstract

Background

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an endemic head and neck cancer in Southeast Asia. Although concurrent chemoradiotherapy generally results in good clinical response for early diseases, posttreatment relapse and distant metastasis are major causes for NPC deaths. There is an urgent need for more effective therapies for advanced NPC. Recent studies have demonstrated tumor hypoxia can be a therapeutic target in NPC.

Methods

A Medline review of articles published on clinical and preclinical studies targeting tumor hypoxia was performed.

Results

Studies published to date showed that tumor hypoxia is common in NPC and it is associated with disease progression and resistance to therapy. Several mechanisms have been proposed on the role of tumor hypoxia in NPC cell survival, angiogenesis, and metabolism. Studies reported by us and by others have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of targeting tumor hypoxia in NPC.

Conclusions

Cumulative studies indicate that targeting tumor hypoxia could be an effective approach for NPC treatment. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013

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