Radiotherapy is a cornerstone for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Tumor cells present in an environment lacking oxygen (hypoxia) are resistant, leading to patient relapse. Altering redox homeostasis and inducing cell death of hypoxic cancer cells is a promising strategy to overcome radioresistance. In this study, redox homeostasis was targeted, and cell death (ferroptosis) was induced in colorectal cancer cells by treating them with the FDA-approved drug sulfasalazine. Overall, sulfasalazine treatment improved the response to radiotherapy in a model system of human colorectal cancer cells.
Lisa’s publication reveals sulfasalazine as a promising radiosensitizer of hypoxic human colorectal cancer through the disturbance of redox homeostasis and ferroptosis induction.
L. Kerkhove, F. Geirnaert, A.L. Rifi, K.L. Law, A. Gutiérrez, I. Oudaert, C. Corbet, T. Gevaert, I. Dufait, M. De Ridder. Repurposing Sulfasalazine as a Radiosensitizer in Hypoxic Human Colorectal Cancer. Cancers (2023). 15(8):2363.