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A spectrum of radiation-induced non-targeted effects has been reported during the last two decades since Nagasawa and Little first described a phenomenon in cultured cells that was later called the bystander effect . These non-targeted effects include radiotherapy-related abscopal effects, where changes in organs or tissues occur distant from the irradiated region. The spectrum of non-targeted effects continue to broaden over time and now embrace many types of exogenous and endogenous stressors that induce a systemic genotoxic response including a widely studied tumor microenvironment. Here we discuss processes and factors leading to DNA damage induction in non-targeted cells and tissues and highlight similarities in the regulation of systemic effects caused by different stressors.
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