The mechanistic roles of nitric oxide (NO) during cancer progression have been important considerations since its discovery as an endogenously generated free radical. Nonetheless, the impacts of this signaling molecule can be seemingly contradictory, being both pro-and antitumorigenic, which complicates the development of cancer treatments based on the modulation of NO fluxes in tumors. At a fundamental level, low levels of NO drive oncogenic pathways, immunosuppression, metastasis, and angiogenesis, while higher levels lead to apoptosis and reduced hypoxia and also sensitize tumors to conventional therapies. However, clinical outcome depends on the type and stage of the tumor as well as the tumor microenvironment. In this Viewpoint, the current understanding of the concentration, spatial, and temporal dependence of responses to NO is correlated with potential treatment and prevention technologies and strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry