Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) biogenesis is an essential mechanism by which both normal and cancer cells maintain redox balance. While antitumor approaches to treat cancers through elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) are not new ideas, depleting specific NADPH-biogenesis pathways that control recovery and repair pathways are novel, viable approaches to enhance cancer therapy. However, to elicit efficacious therapies exploiting NADPH-biogenic pathways, it is crucial to understand and specifically define the roles of NADPH-biogenesis pathways used by cancer cells for survival or recovery from cell stress. It is equally important to select NADPH-biogenic pathways that are expendable or not utilized in normal tissue to avoid unwanted toxicity. Here, we address recent literature that demonstrates specific tumor-selective NADPH-biogenesis pathways that can be exploited using agents that target specific cancer cell pathways normally not utilized in normal cells. Defining NADPH-biogenesis profiles of specific cancer-types should enable novel strategies to exploit these therapeutic windows for increased efficacy against recalcitrant neoplastic disease, such as pancreatic cancers. Accomplishing the goal of using ROS as a weapon against cancer cells will also require agents, such as NQO1 bioactivatable drugs, that selectively induce elevated ROS levels in cancer cells, while normal cells are protected.
- Biogenic pathways
- Glutathione (GSH)
- NQO1-bioactivatable drugs
- Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)
- Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)