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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • exercise;
  • reactive oxygen species;
  • brain microvasculature;
  • metastasis;
  • tight junction

The American Cancer Society estimated 1.5 million new cancer cases in the United States in 2012. Although the exact number is not known, it is estimated that brain metastases occur in 20–40% of cancer patients (39). Owing to the complexity of development and the variation in tumor etiology, therapy options have been limited for a number of cancers, whereas progressive treatments have been successful for some malignancies. Combining treatment strategies has shown potential to increase positive outcomes; however, cancer remains a formidable diagnosis with no true cure. Many researchers have focused on alternative forms of cancer prevention or treatment to slow cancer progression. Studies have shown that with moderate, regular exercise signaling pathways associated with increased antioxidant activity and cellular repair are upregulated in vascular tissue; however, the physiological mechanisms are poorly understood. The purpose of this review is to examine the current literature to better understand the impact of exercise on cancer progression and tumor metastasis and discuss potential redox-related signaling in the vasculature that may be involved. © 2013 IUBMB Life, 65(7):565–571, 2013.