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Possible Beneficial Effects of N-Acetylcysteine for Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Department of Food Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea
Antioxidants 2021, 10(2), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020169
Received: 13 January 2021 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 21 January 2021 / Published: 24 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Outcomes of Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress)
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a widely used antioxidant with therapeutic potential. However, the cancer-promoting effect of NAC observed in some preclinical studies has raised concerns regarding its clinical use. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can mediate signaling that results in both cancer-promoting and cancer-suppressing effects. The beneficial effect of NAC may depend on whether the type of cancer relies on ROS signaling for its survival and metastasis. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has aggressive phenotypes and is currently treated with standard chemotherapy as the main systemic treatment option. Particularly, basal-like TNBC cells characterized by inactivated BRCA1 and mutated TP53 produce high ROS levels and rely on ROS signaling for their survival and malignant progression. In addition, the high ROS levels in TNBC cells can mediate the interplay between cancer cells and the tissue microenvironment (TME) to trigger the recruitment and conversion of stromal cells and induce hypoxic responses, thus leading to the creation of cancer-supportive TMEs and increased cancer aggressiveness. However, NAC treatment effectively reduces the ROS production and ROS-mediated signaling that contribute to cell survival, metastasis, and drug resistance in TNBC cells. Therefore, the inclusion of NAC in standard chemotherapy could probably provide additional benefits for TNBC patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: N-acetylcysteine; triple-negative breast cancer; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant; tumor microenvironment N-acetylcysteine; triple-negative breast cancer; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant; tumor microenvironment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kwon, Y. Possible Beneficial Effects of N-Acetylcysteine for Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Antioxidants 2021, 10, 169. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020169

AMA Style

Kwon Y. Possible Beneficial Effects of N-Acetylcysteine for Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Antioxidants. 2021; 10(2):169. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020169

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kwon, Youngjoo. 2021. "Possible Beneficial Effects of N-Acetylcysteine for Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer" Antioxidants 10, no. 2: 169. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox10020169

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