The roles of reactive oxygen species and the antioxidant molecules that detoxify them have been controversial in the field of cancer research because of their dichotomous ability to promote or suppress tumour development in different contexts. In this issue, Piskounova et al. (page 186) shed light on the subject by showing that efficient spread of melanoma cells to distant sites in the body depends on their ability to overcome the cellular stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are encountered as the cells move through the bloodstream and initiate new tumours. The authors also demonstrate that inhibiting these metabolic pathways in mice effectively blunts the metastasis of melanomas.
Continue reading the commentary at Nature.