Nanomedicine Vol. 16 No. 9 | Review

Promoting reactive oxygen species generation: a key strategy in nanosensitizer-mediated radiotherapy


The radiotherapy enhancement effect of numerous nanosensitizers is based on the excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and only a few systematic reviews have focused on the key strategy in nanosensitizer-mediated radiotherapy. To clarify the mechanism underlying this effect, it is necessary to understand the role of ROS in radiosensitization before clinical application.

In this Review article, researchers affiliated with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (Shanghai, China) and Columbia University (NY, USA) first introduce the source of ROS and their principle of tumor inhibition. Then, nanomaterial-mediated ROS generation in radiotherapy is reviewed. The double-edged sword effect of ROS and the potential dangers they may pose to cancer patients are subsequently addressed. Finally, future perspectives regarding ROS-regulated nanosensitizer applications and development are discussed.

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