Irinotecan and radiation in combined-modality therapy for solid tumors

Hak Choy, Rob Macrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Irinotecan (CPT-11, Camptosar) is a camptothecin derivative that is thought to exert its cytotoxic effects by targeting topoisomerase I. It is believed that irinotecan stabilizes a DNA-topoisomerase I cleavable complex, and that interactions between this complex and the replication machinery may lead to cell death. There is a significant volume of in vitro and in vivo data demonstrating that irinotecan acts as a radiosensitizer. The exact mechanism of this radiosensitization is currently unknown. The increasing amount of data demonstrating improved outcomes with concurrent chemoradiation treatment of malignancies like lung cancer and head and neck cancer provide impetus for pursuing the addition of other drugs as radiosensitizers to improve local control further. Irinotecan is undergoing early clinical trials in the combined-modality setting in several disease sites. This article will provide an overview of the current status of irinotecan used concurrently with radiotherapy in the treatment of a variety of solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
Issue number7 SUPPL. 8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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