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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4502846, 7 pages
Review Article

Cancer: An Oxidative Crosstalk between Solid Tumor Cells and Cancer Associated Fibroblasts

1Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
2Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy

Received 27 May 2016; Accepted 13 July 2016

Academic Editor: Amit Budhraja

Copyright © 2016 Alessandro Arcucci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Redox balance is associated with the regulation of several cell signalling pathways and functions. In fact, under physiological conditions, cells maintain a balance between oxidant and antioxidant systems, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) can act as second messengers to regulate cell proliferation, cell death, and other physiological processes. Cancer tissues usually contain higher levels of ROS than normal tissues, and this ROS overproduction is associated with tumor development. Neoplastic tissues are very heterogeneous systems, composed of tumor cells and microenvironment that has a critical role in tumor progression. Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) represent the main cell type of tumor microenvironment, and they contribute to tumor growth by undergoing an irreversible activation process. It is known that ROS can be transferred from cancer cells to fibroblasts. In particular, ROS affect the behaviour of CAFs by promoting the conversion of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts that support tumor progression and dissemination. Furthermore, the wrecking of redox homeostasis in cancer cells and tumor microenvironment induces a metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells and cancer associated fibroblasts, giving advantage to cancer growth. This review describes the role of ROS in tumor growth, by focusing on CAFs activation and metabolic interactions between cancer cells and stromal fibroblasts.