Unmitigated oxidative stress can lead to diminished cellular longevity, accelerated aging, and accumulated toxic effects for an organism. Current investigations further suggest the significant disadvantages that can occur with cellular oxidative stress that can lead to clinical disability in a number of disorders, such as myocardial infarction, dementia, stroke, and diabetes. New therapeutic strategies are therefore sought that can be directed toward ameliorating the toxic effects of oxidative stress. Here we discuss the exciting potential of the growth factor and cytokine erythropoietin for the treatment of diseases such as cardiac ischemia, vascular injury, neurodegeneration, and diabetes through the modulation of cellular oxidative stress. Erythropoietin controls a variety of signal transduction pathways during oxidative stress that can involve Janus-tyrosine kinase 2, protein kinase B, signal transducer and activator of transcription pathways, Wnt proteins, mammalian forkhead transcription factors, caspases, and nuclear factor κB. Yet, the biological effects of erythropoietin may not always be beneficial and may be poor tolerated in a number of clinical scenarios, necessitating further basic and clinical investigations that emphasize the elucidation of the signal transduction pathways controlled by erythropoietin to direct both successful and safe clinical care.