Over the last 2 years, several advances have been made in the field of radiotherapy for brain tumors. Key advances are summarized in this review. Crucial technologic advances, such as radiosurgery, fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy, and intensity-modulated radiotherapy, are discussed. Better understanding of the interaction between the processes of angiogenesis, apoptosis, cell-cycle regulation, and signal transduction and the effects of ionizing radiation has made it clear that many of these "new agents" are, in fact, valuable modulators of the radiation response. Another exciting molecular discovery is the recognition of radiation-induced promoters that can be exploited to cause spatially and temporally configured expression of selected genes; this approach may represent the ideal application of conformal radiation techniques in the future, yielding well-defined genetic changes in specifically targeted tissues. The final "frontier" covered in this review is the newer categories of radiosensitizers, ranging from topoisomerase-I inhibitors, to expanded metalloporphyrins, to oxygen- dissociating agents.
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