Chemokines in neuroectodermal cancers: the crucial growth signal from the soil

Semin Cancer Biol. 2009 Apr;19(2):103-10. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2008.10.009. Epub 2008 Oct 28.


Although chemokines and their receptors were initially identified as regulators of cell trafficking during inflammation and immune response, they have emerged as crucial players in all stages of tumor development, primary growth, migration, angiogenesis, and establishment as metastases in distant target organs. Neuroectodermal tumors regroup neoplasms originating from the embryonic neural crest cells, which display clinical and biological similarities. These tumors are highly malignant and rapidly progressing diseases that disseminate to similar target organs such as bone marrow, bone, liver and lungs. There is increasing evidence that interaction of several chemokine receptors with corresponding chemokine ligands are implicated in the growth and invasive characteristics of these tumors. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on the role of CXCL12 chemokine and its CXCR4 and CXCR7 receptors in the progression and survival of neuroectodermal tumors, with particular emphasis on neuroblastoma, the most typical and enigmatic neuroectodermal childhood tumor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / immunology
  • Chemokines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors / immunology*
  • Receptors, CXCR / immunology
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / immunology
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology*


  • ACKR3 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines
  • Receptors, CXCR
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine