Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Miguel Lopez-Lazaro
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2887-2



Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated from molecular oxygen (O2). Although the controlled cellular production of H2O2 plays an important physiological role, high cellular levels of H2O2 can produce carcinogenic effects and induce cell death.


H 2O 2 is a pale blue liquid first isolated in 1818 by Louis Jacques Thénard. H 2O 2 has industrial and domestic uses (e.g., paper bleaching, chemical synthesis, laundry detergents, antiseptic for wound cleaning, etc.), and it is manufactured today through an autoxidation reaction using O 2 from the air. Cells of aerobic organisms also generate H 2O 2 from O 2. Most of the energy (ATP) that aerobic cells need to live is obtained through a process called oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). In this process, ATP generation is coupled with a reaction in which O 2 is reduced [reduction/oxidation] to water (H 2O) by a mitochondrial protein complex called...


NADPH Oxidase Carcinogenic Effect Arsenic Trioxide Apoptosis Resistance Increase Reactive Oxygen Species Generation 
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.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. American Cancer Society (1993) Questionable methods of cancer management: hydrogen peroxide and other ‘hyperoxygenation’ therapies. CA Cancer J Clin 43:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold RS, Shi J, Murad E et al (2001) Hydrogen peroxide mediates the cell growth and transformation caused by the mitogenic oxidase Nox1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 98:5550–5555CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Burdon RH (1995) Superoxide and hydrogen peroxide in relation to mammalian cell proliferation. Free Radic Biol Med 18:775–794CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Lopez-Lazaro M (2007) Dual role of hydrogen peroxide in cancer: possible relevance to cancer chemoprevention and therapy. Cancer Lett 252:1–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Szatrowski TP, Nathan CF (1991) Production of large amounts of hydrogen peroxide by human tumor cells. Cancer Res 51:794–798PubMedGoogle Scholar

See Also

  1. (2012) Oxidative phosphorylation. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, p 2730. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_4308Google Scholar
  2. (2012) Reduction/Oxidation. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, p 3214. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5009Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain