J Genet Med.  2022 Jun;19(1):1-6. 10.5734/JGM.2022.19.1.1.

Genetic variations affecting response of radiotherapy

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Asan Preclinical Evaluation Center for Cancer Therapeutics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Radiation therapy (RT) is a very important treatment for cancer that irradiates a large amount of radiation to lead cancer cells and tissues to death. The progression of RT in the aspect of personalized medicine has greatly advanced over the past few decades in the field of technical precision responding anatomical characteristics of each patient. However, the consideration of biological heterogeneity that makes different effect in individual patients has not actually applied to clinical practice. There have been numerous discovery and validation of biomarkers that can be applied to improve the efficiency of radiotherapy, among which those related to genomic information are very promising developments. These genome-based biomarkers can be applied to identify patients who can benefit most from altering their therapeutic dose and to select the best chemotherapy improving sensitivity to radiotherapy. The genomics-based biomarkers in radiation oncology focus on mutational changes, particularly oncogenes and DNA damage response pathways. Although few have translated into clinically viable tools, there are many promising candidates in this field. In this review the prominent mutation-based biomarkers and their potential for clinical translation will be discussed.


Radiation therapy; Genomics; Biomarkers; Mutation; Clinical trial
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