New Study Shows Role of Role of Reactive Oxygen in the Spreading of Cancer

Scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in California say they’ve discovered reactive oxygen plays a key role in cancer metastasis.

The researchers, led by Professor Sara Courtneidge, said they determined reactive species, such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, help form invadopodia which are cellular protrusions implicated in cancer cell migration. They found inhibiting reactive oxygen reduces invadopodia formation, thereby limiting cancer cell invasion.

Editor’s Notes: In aerobic organisms like humans, oxygen is converted to water at the end of the respiratory chain in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the “power plants” in our cells that provide the energy needed to maintain normal body function and metabolism. However, in this same mitochondria respiratory chain, oxygen is “partially reduced” to form superoxide.

Antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C and E, superoxide dismutase, and carotenoids such as alpha and betacarotene, lutein and zeaxanthin help protect us by neutralizing reactive oxygen molecules and other free radicals.

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