Inflammatory chemokines in cancer growth and progression

Eur J Cancer. 2006 Apr;42(6):760-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2006.01.002. Epub 2006 Feb 28.


Leukocyte infiltration is a cardinal feature of almost all cancers. Chemokines are generally responsible for eliciting local accumulation of inflammatory cells and they appear to play the same role in the formation of peri- and intra-tumoural infiltrates. Chronic inflammation predisposes to cancer formation and progression, and it is likely that the chemokine system contributes to this process. In part, this may be a consequence of its ability to attract mononuclear cells to cancer sites, where they provide growth or angiogenic factors that enhance cancer development. However, accumulating evidence also points to a direct effect of chemokines on cancer cells that express chemokine receptors. In particular, some chemokines can activate anti-apoptotic pathways in these cells. By either mechanism, tumour cells that secrete and/or respond to chemokines would have a selective advantage. This provides another example of cancer's ability to co-opt host systems in order to promote tumour progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Chemokines / immunology
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stromal Cells


  • Chemokines