Radiation therapy has been an integral part of curative cancer therapy for many decades. The tolerance of normal tissues traversed by radiation and resistant tumor cell populations traditionally have limited the radiocurability to certain tumors, especially with higher clinical stages. However, research in radiobiology and radiation physics is providing ways to increase cure while limiting morbidity. Computer-controlled dynamic treatment, radioprotector drugs, hyperbaric oxygen, carbogen breathing during irradiation, particle irradiation, and hypoxic cell sensitizing drugs are presently undergoing clinical evaluation with some encouraging preliminary results. We review the fundamental concepts underlying these clinical trials and analyze the results.
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