ISSN 0371-0874, CN 31-1352/Q

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Progress on the role of reactive oxygen species-mediated tumor microenvironment in pancreatic cancer

Xufeng Tao1, Vay Liang W(Bill) Go2, Gary Guishan Xiao1,2,3,*

1School of Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China;2The UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States;3Functional Genomics and Proteomics Laboratory, Osteoporosis Research Center, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE, United States


Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a devastating malignant tumor with high incidence and mortality rate worldwide. Meanwhile, the surgical approaches and drugs of this disease remain challenging. In recent years, reactive oxygen species (ROSs) study has become a hotspot in the field of PC research. ROSs may regulate tumor microenvironment (TME), cancer stem cells (CSCs) renewal and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which result in drug-resistance and recurrence of the PC. Currently, TME that includes 

immune infiltrates, fibroblasts, vascular vessels and extracellular matrix has become a hotspot in the cancer research. Meanwhile, numerous researches have shown that ROSs-mediated TME plays a central role in the occurrence and development of PC. Targeting ROSs may be promising therapeutic treatments for the PC patients. Therefore, the purposes of the review were manifold: (1) to summarize the regulations of ROSs in tumorigenesis and drug-resistance of PC; (2) to investigate the modulation of ROSs in signaling cascades in PC; (3) to study the effects of ROSs in stromal cells in PC; (4) to generalize the potent therapies targeting ROSs in PC. Overall, this review summarized the current status of ROSs in PC research and suggested some potential anti-PC drugs that may target ROSs.

Key words: pancreatic cancer; tumor microenvironment; reactive oxygen species; cancer stem cells; drug-resistance

Received: 2020-05-27  Accepted: 2020-12-10

Corresponding author: Gary Guishan Xiao  E-mail:,,

Citing This Article:

Xufeng Tao, Vay Liang W(Bill) Go, Gary Guishan Xiao. Progress on the role of reactive oxygen species-mediated tumor microenvironment in pancreatic cancer. Acta Physiol Sin 2021; 73 (2): 197-207