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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 294303, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/294303
Review Article

Increased Oxidative Stress as a Selective Anticancer Therapy

State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 54 Xian Lie Nan Road, Guangzhou 510060, China

Received 30 September 2014; Accepted 11 February 2015

Academic Editor: Elisa Giannoni

Copyright © 2015 Jiahui Liu and Zhichong Wang. 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.

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are closely related to tumorgenesis. Under hypoxic environment, increased levels of ROS induce the expression of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) in cancer stem cells (CSCs), resulting in the promotion of the upregulation of CSC markers, and the reduction of intracellular ROS level, thus facilitating CSCs survival and proliferation. Although the ROS level is regulated by powerful antioxidant defense mechanisms in cancer cells, it is observed to remain higher than that in normal cells. Cancer cells may be more sensitive than normal cells to the accumulation of ROS; consequently, it is supposed that increased oxidative stress by exogenous ROS generation therapy has an effect on selectively killing cancer cells without affecting normal cells. This paper reviews the mechanisms of redox regulation in CSCs and the pivotal role of ROS in anticancer treatment.