Reactive oxygen species (ROS): Critical roles in breast tumor microenvironment

Rama Rao Malla, Nagalakshmi Surepalli, Batoul Farran, Sanjay V. Malhotra, Ganji Purnachandra Nagaraju

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Increases in Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been reported in breast tumors and their surrounding tumor microenvironment (TME) cells. ROS are critical factors in breast TME as they ensure bidirectional communication among various components and mediate multi-faceted roles in tumor progression and metastasis. This paper presents a detailed and comprehensive review of the studies exploring ROS and various forms of oxidative stress in cancer progression, specifically breast cancer (BC), its microenvironment and associated cell types. The paper focuses on several diverse aspects of cellular and molecular biology of cancer, with pharmacological implications of phytochemicals in BC. We also describe the role of ROS in the genetic and epigenetic reprogramming of the TME, metastasis, and drug resistance as well as regulators of BC TME. Additionally, we discuss ROS-mediated TME therapy and the therapeutic conundrum of breast TME. These contributions could prompt the development of personalized anti-cancer drugs for the treatment of highly complex and aggressive BCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103285
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Hypoxia
  • Precision medicine
  • ROS
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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