After recovering from a sore throat yesterday, I’m heading off to the New York Academy of Science this afternoon, where I’m a member, to listen to a lecture of the pathogenesis of cancer.  The actual long-winded version of the title is:

“Oxidative Stress in Cancer and Exploitation of Negative Regulators as Therapeutics.”

Oof, I wonder how many people were put off by that technical description, rather than the simpler and more digestible ‘pathogenesis of cancer’?  I do hope not.

The speakers come from some prestigious cancer institutions around the country including Dana Farber, MD Anderson and Moffitt in Tampa, so it will be interesting to see where this field of research is going.

If you’re in the NY area and are interested, there is probably still time to sign up – it doesn’t start until 1pm.


A few people have contacted me asking me about the link between oxidative stress and cancer.  Put simply, reactive oxygen species (ROS) promotes tumour cell proliferation and survival.   This often occurs by directly modulating growth regulatory molecules and key transcription factors.

In addition, several chemotherapy agents such as doxorubicin increase ROS production, inducing apoptosis but it may also be responsible for it’s cardiotoxicity.  The conundrum with ROS is that while excessive oxidative stress induces apoptosis, moderate oxidative stress promotes proliferation, metastasis, and avoidance of apoptosis, imparting a survival advantage to tumour cells, so getting the balance right is critical!}