Current Pain and Headache Reports

, 18:384

Cancer-Induced Oxidative Stress and Pain

  • Mina G. Nashed
  • Matthew D. Balenko
  • Gurmit Singh
Cancer Pain (DA Marcus, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-013-0384-1

Cite this article as:
Nashed, M.G., Balenko, M.D. & Singh, G. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2014) 18: 384. doi:10.1007/s11916-013-0384-1
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cancer Pain


Cancer pain is a well-documented and prevalent healthcare problem, with current treatment strategies often failing to achieve acceptable efficacy. One of the major difficulties in treating cancer pain owes to the complex interplay between the cancer microenvironment, cancer therapy, and the body’s own responses to these biochemical changes. A better understanding of the molecular pathways of nociception that are activated during cancer progression and treatment is necessary for better pain management and increased quality of life. This article reviews the current research that implicates oxidative stress as an important target for attenuating cancer pain. Sources of oxidative stress are first established, followed by a discussion of the various pathways that are affected by oxidative stress and that ultimately cause cancer pain.


CancerPainChemotherapyRadiotherapyOxidative stressReactive oxygen speciesFree radicalsNitric oxideGlutathioneSystem xcGlutamateNMDAInflammationCytokines

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mina G. Nashed
    • 1
  • Matthew D. Balenko
    • 1
  • Gurmit Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology & Molecular MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Molecular MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada