The Respiratory Burst and Carcinogenesis

  • Leo I. Gordon
  • Sigmund A. Weitzman


Recent experimental evidence implicating oxygen-derived free radicals* in carcinogenesis has supported prior observations that link certain chronic inflammatory conditions to cancer. In this chapter we review data that support the notion that these radicals, many of which are derived from the respiratory burst of phagocytes, interact with target cells and thereby result in cellular changes that permit expression of the cancer phenotype. We first review the respiratory burst in phagocytes and then address the association between inflammation and cancer. The multistep model of carcinogenesis is discussed, followed by a presentation of the evidence linking oxygen-derived free radicals with the following events: (1) DNA and chromosomal alterations, (2) nucleoside modification, (3) activation of xenobiotics to genotoxic intermediates, (4) malignant transformation, and (5) tumor promotion (Fig. 1).


Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Phorbol Myristate Acetate Phorbol Ester Respiratory Burst Tumor Promotion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo I. Gordon
    • 1
  • Sigmund A. Weitzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology and the Cancer CenterNorthwestern University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA

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