The Role of HIF-1alpha in Sarcoma Metastasis and Response to Radiation Therapy
The degree of intratumoral hypoxia is clinically correlated to poor response to therapy and increased incidence of distal spread in various cancer subtypes. Specifically, the transcription factor Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), which is accumulated in cells in response to a hypoxic microenvironment, is implicated in poor disease outcome associated with intratumoral hypoxia. Using novel genetically engineered mouse models of primary soft tissue sarcoma, I show that in vivo genetic deletion of HIF-1alpha specifically in tumor cells 1) decreases the incidence of lung metastases by limiting sarcoma collagen deposition, and 2) improves sarcoma response to radiation therapy by limiting the inflammatory response and metabolic adaptations. These results define HIF-1alpha as a potential target for cancer therapy.
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