Inflammation, proteases and cancer

Eur J Cancer. 2006 Apr;42(6):728-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2006.01.004. Epub 2006 Mar 9.


Tumours are complex tissues composed of ever-evolving neoplastic cells, matrix proteins that provide structural support and sequester biologically active molecules, and a cellular stromal component. Reciprocal interactions between neoplastic cells, activated host cells and the dynamic micro-environment in which they live enables tumour growth and dissemination. It has become evident that early and persistent inflammatory responses observed in or around developing neoplasms regulates many aspects of tumour development (matrix remodelling, angiogenesis, malignant potential) by providing diverse mediators implicated in maintaining tissue homeostasis, e.g., soluble growth and survival factors, matrix remodelling enzymes, reactive oxygen species and other bioactive molecules. This review highlights recent insights into the role of chronic inflammation associated with cancer development and examines proteolytic pathways activated by infiltrating leukocytes during neoplastic programming of tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Inflammation / enzymology*
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Paracrine Communication / physiology
  • Peptide Hydrolases / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Peptide Hydrolases