Radiotherapy is involved in many curative treatments of cancer; millions of survivors live with the consequences of treatment, and toxicity in a minority limits the radiation doses that can be safely prescribed to the majority. Radiogenomics is the whole genome application of radiogenetics, which studies the influence of genetic variation on radiation response. Work in the area focuses on uncovering the underlying genetic causes of individual variation in sensitivity to radiation, which is important for effective, safe treatment. In this review, we highlight recent advances in radiotherapy and discuss results from four genome-wide studies of radiotoxicity. © 2011 BioMed Central Ltd.