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Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Sep;15(7):707-19.

Implications of oxidative stress and cell membrane lipid peroxidation in human cancer (Spain).

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Cátedra de Oncología y Medicina Paliativa, Servicio de Oncología Médica, Unidad de Oncología Molecular, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain.


Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) result from cell metabolism as well as from extracellular processes. ROS exert some functions necessary for cell homeostasis maintenance. When produced in excess they play a role in the causation of cancer. ROS mediated lipid peroxides are of critical importance because they participate in chain reactions that amplify damage to biomolecules including DNA. DNA attack gives rise to mutations that may involve tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes, and this is an oncogenic mechanism. On the other hand, ROS production is a mechanism shared by many chemotherapeutic drugs due to their implication in apoptosis control. The ROS mediated cell responses depend on the duration and intensity of the cells exposing to the increased ROS environment. Thus the status redox is of great importance for oncogenetic process activation and it is also implicated in tumor susceptibility to specific chemotherapeutic drugs. Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase (PH-GPx) is an antioxidant enzyme that is able to directly reduce lipid peroxides even when they are bound to cellular membranes. This article will review the relevance of oxidative stress, particularly of lipid peroxidation, in cell response with special focus in carcinogenesis and cancer therapy that suggests PH-GPx as a potentially important enzyme involved in the control of this processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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