J Cancer 2020; 11(17):5236-5244. doi:10.7150/jca.46200

Review

Friend or Foe? An Unrecognized Role of Uric Acid in Cancer Development and the Potential Anticancer Effects of Uric Acid-lowering Drugs

Shuyi Mi1,3#, Liang Gong2#, Ziqi Sui1,4✉

1. Department of Gastroenterology, The First People's Hospital of Yuhang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
2. Department of Otolaryngology, Cixi People's Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China.
3. School of Medicine, Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
4. Department of Pathophysiology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Jiamusi University, Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province, China.
#These authors have contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Mi S, Gong L, Sui Z. Friend or Foe? An Unrecognized Role of Uric Acid in Cancer Development and the Potential Anticancer Effects of Uric Acid-lowering Drugs. J Cancer 2020; 11(17):5236-5244. doi:10.7150/jca.46200. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v11p5236.htm

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Abstract

In recent years, metabolic syndrome (Mets) has been a hot topic among medical scientists. Mets has an intimate relationship with the incidence and development of various cancers. As a contributory factor of Mets, hyperuricemia actually plays an inseparable role in the formation of various metabolic disorders. Although uric acid is classically considered an antioxidant with beneficial effects, mounting evidence indicates that a high serum uric acid (SUA) level may serve as a pro-oxidant to generate inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress. In this review, we describe the unrecognized role of hyperuricemia in cancer development and summarize major mechanisms linking uric acid to carcinogenesis. Furthermore, we also discuss the potential mechanism of liver metastasis of cancer and list some types of uric acid-lowering agents, which may exert anticancer effects.

Keywords: hyperuricemia, cancer risk, metabolic syndrome, liver metastasis, uric acid-lowering agents