Inflammatory cytokines in cancer: tumour necrosis factor and interleukin 6 take the stage

Ann Rheum Dis. 2011 Mar;70 Suppl 1:i104-8. doi: 10.1136/ard.2010.140145.


Up to 20% of all cancers arise in association with chronic inflammation and most, if not all, solid tumours contain inflammatory infiltrates. Immune cells have a broad impact on tumour initiation, growth and progression and many of these effects are mediated by proinflammatory cytokines. Among these cytokines, the pro-tumourogenic function of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) is well established. The role of TNF and IL-6 as master regulators of tumour-associated inflammation and tumourigenesis makes them attractive targets for adjuvant treatment in cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology*
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha