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REVIEW: The Role of Nitric Oxide Chemistry in Cancer Treatment

D. A. Wink1*, Y. Vodovotz2, J. A. Cook1, M. C. Krishna1, S. Kim1, D. Coffin1, W. DeGraff1, A. M. Deluca1, J. Liebmann1, and J. B. Mitchell1

1Radiation Biology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bldg. 10, Room B3-B69, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; fax: (301) 480-2238; E-mail: wink@box-w.nih.gov

2Cardiology Research Foundation and Medlantic Research Institute, Washington, DC 20010, USA

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received January 28, 1998
Over the last decade the role of nitric oxide (NO) in various disease states has become apparent. In cancer, NO plays a variety of roles which are at times contradictory. On one hand, NO is involved in different etiological mechanisms as well as promoting tumor growth. Yet, NO derived from leukocytes plays a seminal role in their tumoricidal activity. In cancer treatment, NO also has diverse effects. Whereas in vitro, NO can enhance the cytotoxic efficacy of some chemotherapeutic agents as well as radiation, NO donors can provide whole body protection against these same agents. This manuscript will discuss some mechanisms involved with NO and cancer treatment modalities and the potential application of these findings to cancer therapy.
KEY WORDS: nitric oxide, cancer, oncology