Oxidative stress in female cancers

Gloria M. Calaf _, Ulises Urzua, Lara Termini and Francisco Aguayo

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:23824-23842. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25323

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Gloria M. Calaf1,2, Ulises Urzua3, Lara Termini4 and Francisco Aguayo3,5

1Instituto de Alta Investigación (IAI), Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile

2Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

3Departamento de Oncología Básico Clínica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

4Instituto do Câncer do Estado de São Paulo, Centro de Investigação Translacional em Oncologia, Laboratório de Oncologia Experimental, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

5Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS), Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence to:

Gloria M. Calaf, email: [email protected]

Francisco Aguayo, email: [email protected]

Keywords: oxidative stress; cervical; breast; ovarian cancer; curcumin

Received: December 30, 2017     Accepted: April 06, 2018     Published: May 04, 2018


Breast, cervical and ovarian cancers are highly prevalent in women worldwide. Environmental, hormonal and viral-related factors are especially relevant in the development of these tumors. These factors are strongly related to oxidative stress (OS) through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The OS is caused by an imbalance in the redox status of the organism and is literally defined as “an imbalance between ROS generation and its detoxification by biological system leading to impairment of damage repair by cell/tissue”. The multistep progression of cancer suggests that OS is involved in cancer initiation, promotion and progression. In this review, we described the role of OS and the interplay with environmental, host and viral factors related to breast, cervical and ovarian cancers initiation, promotion and progression. In addition, the role of the natural antioxidant compound curcumin and other compounds for breast, cervical and ovarian cancers prevention/treatment is discussed.

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