Relapsed disease following first-line therapy remains one of the central problems in cancer management, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, growth factor receptor-based targeted therapy, and immune checkpoint-based immunotherapy. Cancer cells develop therapeutic resistance through both intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms including cellular heterogeneity, drug tolerance, bypassing alternative signaling pathways, as well as the acquisition of new genetic mutations. Reactive oxygen species (ROSs) are byproducts originated from cellular oxidative metabolism. Recent discoveries have shown that a disabled antioxidant program leads to therapeutic resistance in several types of cancers. ROSs are finely tuned by dysregulated microRNAs, and vice versa. However, mechanisms of a crosstalk between ROSs and microRNAs in regulating therapeutic resistance are not clear. Here, we summarize how the microRNA–ROS network modulates cancer therapeutic tolerance and resistance and direct new vulnerable targets against drug tolerance and resistance for future applications.
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