Background: The link between inflammation and pancreatic cancer has been observed for a number of gastrointestinal neoplasms. This review examines the role of inflammation in pancreatic carcinogenesis and how it can be utilised to develop new therapies against pancreatic cancer.
Methods: A literature review of Pubmed, Medline and Web of Science databases was undertaken using the key words, pancreatic cancer, inflammation, inducible nitric oxide, interleukins, pro-inflammatory cytokines, cyclooxygenase-2, NF-kappa B, reactive oxygen species, DNA adducts, lipoxygenases, chemoprevention.
Results: Epidemiological evidence and molecular studies both in vitro and in vivo all support the hypothesis that inflammation plays an important in the initiation and progression of pancreatic tumours.
Conclusion: Sustained damage caused by chronic inflammation may precede the onset of frank malignancy by a significant interval. As such, suppression of inflammatory changes and oxidative damage, may help delay or even prevent the inception of pancreatic neoplasia.
Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel and IAP.