Current Pharmacology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 79–86 | Cite as

Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in Cancer Progression

  • Dharambir Kashyap
  • Hardeep Singh TuliEmail author
  • Katrin Sak
  • Vivek Kumar Garg
  • Neelam Goel
  • Sandeep Punia
  • Ashun Chaudhary
Chemical and Molecular Toxicology (J Bolton, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Chemical and Molecular Toxicology


Purpose of Review

Although there are significant improvements in diagnosis and therapeutics tools, cancer remained a major cause of deaths in developing and developed countries. Among others, endogenously or exogenously generating reactive oxygen species (ROSs) are considered a crucial cause for tumor initiation, development, and survival. Unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to various carcinogens, ionizing radiations, and chemotherapy drugs are the main factors for ROS production.

Recent Findings

Reactive oxygen species cause genetic instability due to DNA damage or mutation load. Exposer to ROS also modulates the expression of various transcription factors such as Sp1, AP1, and NF-κβ implicated in proliferation, metastasis, and cancer stem cell maintenance. It is suggested that ROSs are involved in various cancer-related process including apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, and inflammation. Numerous data from several studies suggest ROS as one of the therapeutic targets for cancer prevention and cure.


The current review summarizing the interactions of ROSs with various cellular molecules involved in angiogenesis, metastasis, and inflammation.


Reactive oxygen species Angiogenesis Metastasis Inflammation Carcinogenesis 



Author would like to acknowledge Department of Histopathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India, and MMDU, Mullana, India, for supporting this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dharambir Kashyap
    • 1
  • Hardeep Singh Tuli
    • 2
    Email author
  • Katrin Sak
    • 3
  • Vivek Kumar Garg
    • 4
  • Neelam Goel
    • 5
  • Sandeep Punia
    • 2
  • Ashun Chaudhary
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistopathologyPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)ChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyM.M. (Deemed to be University), MulanaAmbalaIndia
  3. 3.NGOPraeventioTartuEstonia
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)ChandigarhIndia
  5. 5.Department of Information TechnologyUniversity Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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