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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011 Aug 15;15(4):903-9. doi: 10.1089/ars.2011.3993. Epub 2011 May 25.

Does chemotherapy-induced oxidative stress improve the survival rates of breast cancer patients?

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Complejo Hospitalario de Jaen, Jaen, Spain. lvera@correo.ugr.es


Antineoplastic agents induce oxidative stress leading to lipid, carbohydrate, protein, and DNA damage. We sought to explore the role of drug-induced oxidative stress on breast cancer patient's survival. We observed that neoadjuvant patients presented a marked raise in DNA damage and protein carbonyl levels after chemotherapy, whereas postchemotherapy DNA repair activity of the KU86 enzyme and total antioxidant capacity of the plasma were higher in the adjuvant group. With respect to patient's survival, we observed that increasing levels of KU86 and antioxidant capacity of the plasma during chemotherapy significantly influenced the survival rates of the patients, protecting from disease recurrence and death. Our results suggest that chemotherapy induces a certain level of systemic oxidative stress, which is maintained along successive clinical interventions and could influence the clinical outcome of the patients.

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