Tumor promotion by tumor-associated macrophages

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;604:67-86. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-69116-9_5.


Recent years have seen a renaissance of the inflammation-cancer connection stemming from different lines of work and leading to a generally accepted paradigm (Balkwill and Mantovani 2001; Mantovani et al. 2002; Coussens and Werb 2002; Balkwill et al. 2005). An inflammatory component is present in the microenvironment of most neoplastic tissues, including those not causally related to an obvious inflammatory process Cancer-associated inflammation includes: the infiltration of white blood cells, prominently phagocytic cells called macrophages (TAM) (Paik et al. 2004); the presence of polipeptide messengers of inflammation (cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or interleukin-1 (IL-1), chemokines such as CCL2); the occurrence of tissue remodelling and angiogenesis. Chemokines have emerged as a key component of the tumor microenvironment which shape leukocyte recruitment and function (Pollard 2004). Strong direct evidence suggests that cancer associated inflammation promotes tumor growth and progression. Therapeutic targeting of cancer promoting inflammatory reactions is in its infancy, and its development is crucially dependent on defining the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms in relevant systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phagocytosis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha