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Castration radiosensitizes prostate cancer tissue by impairing DNA double-strand break repair

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Science Translational Medicine  04 Nov 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 312, pp. 312re11
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5671

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Giving radiotherapy a boost

Androgen deprivation therapy (castration) combined with radiotherapy improves the overall response to radiotherapy in patients with localized intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer. In a new study, Tarish et al. biopsied prostate cancer patients at diagnosis and before and after castration and radiotherapy treatments to monitor the molecular events that might explain this improved response. They found that castration impaired DNA double-strand break repair specifically in prostate cancer tissue. This correlated with an increase in unrepaired DNA double-strand breaks caused by radiotherapy, explaining how castration improved the response to radiotherapy. These findings provide mechanistic insight into why castration improves the overall response to radiotherapy in prostate cancer patients.

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