The inflammatory tumor microenvironment, epithelial mesenchymal transition and lung carcinogenesis

Cancer Microenviron. 2012 Apr;5(1):5-18. doi: 10.1007/s12307-011-0089-0. Epub 2011 Sep 16.


The inflammatory tumor microenvironment (TME) has many roles in tumor progression and metastasis, including creation of a hypoxic environment, increased angiogenesis and invasion, changes in expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and an increase in a stem cell phenotype. Each of these has an impact on epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT), particularly through the downregulation of E-cadherin. Here we review seminal work and recent findings linking the role of inflammation in the TME, EMT and lung cancer initiation, progression and metastasis. Finally, we discuss the potential of targeting aspects of inflammation and EMT in cancer prevention and treatment.