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High ROS levels in tumor cells as a basis for cancer therapy

Liao, G. P. (2014) High ROS levels in tumor cells as a basis for cancer therapy. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Cancer is the result of aberrant regulation of growth and death in cells. Due to its persistent nature, current therapies are usually unselective and highly toxic. Thus, therapies may frequently result in severe adverse effects. Reactive oxygen species are reactive molecules that play a role in cellular signaling and are formed as side products in physiological processes. Oxidative stress may result in carcinogenesis and further cancer physiology maintenance. Cancer cells are known to exhibit significantly elevated ROS levels. Many factors may contribute to this increase; regardless, cancer cells regulate their ROS levels rigorously as high levels may also be toxic to them. Recent developments in cancer therapy have thus focused on finding ways to use this high ROS level in cancer to therapeutic advantages. In this essay, three distinct approaches to use ROS have been discussed for treatment options: namely, by generating additional ROS molecules; by impairing the antioxidant defenses in the cancer cells; or by developing prodrugs that are activated by ROS molecules. The current ROS-generating compounds and antioxidant modulating compounds are cancer selective because it only pushes the ROS concentration over the toxic threshold in cancer cells; the prodrug approach may be truly selective because it requires the aberrant high ROS levels in cancer cells to activate it. All three approaches are still mostly in their infancy, yet many of these compound classes have shown promising results in preclinical studies. However, many factors such as clinical efficacy have yet to be examined for the majority of the compounds. A viable strategy could be to pair these ROS-modulating compounds with each other or with existing chemotherapeutics.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:01
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:01

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