Cancer related inflammation: the macrophage connection

Cancer Lett. 2008 Aug 28;267(2):204-15. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.028. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are key regulators of the link between inflammation and cancer. In the tumor microenvironment neoplastic cells shape the differentiation and functional orientation of TAM which, in turn, express several protumoral functions, including secretion of growth factors and matrix-proteases, promotion of angiogenesis and suppression of adaptive immunity. This review analyzes our current knowledge of TAM and their involvement in tumor development and progression. The interplay between TAM and neoplastic cells represents a promising target of future therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Polarity
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism


  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • NF-kappa B
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor