Journal of Radiation Research and Radiation Proces ›› 2017, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (5): 50101-050101.doi: 10.11889/j.1000-3436.2017.rrj.35.050101

• REVIEW •     Next Articles

Research progress in autophagy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma radiotherapy

YANG Xiyu1, ZHAO Guoqi2   

  1. 1 The Clinical College of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China;
    2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 201620, China
  • Received:2017-05-02 Revised:2017-07-10 Online:2017-10-20 Published:2017-10-20


Cell autophagy could not only inhibit but also promote tumor growth, which plays an important role in the occurrence, development, and clinical prognosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The low-level and basic autophagy is conducive to its cell metabolism and self-protection, which is one of the major factors in NPC radio-or chemo-therapy resistance, while high-level and excessive autophagy could lead to the autophagic cell death, which is the foundation of NPC treatment based on autophagic target. The research and application of autophagy modulators is the key link to realize the regulation of autophagy level. Autophagy inhibitors or inducers can enhance sensitization to radio-or chemo-therapy and even induce autophagic death of NPC cells. The mechanism of action of autophagy in NPC is, however, very complex and not yet fully understood up to now. Here, we reviewed the research progress in autophagy and its potential value in NPC radiotherapy in order to explore the prospect of autophagy as a new target for NPC treatment, especially therapeutic autophagic cell death in NPC induced by X-ray as an autophagy modulator.

Key words: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Autophagy, Radiotherapy, Autophagy modulators

CLC Number: 

  • R739.63