Inhibition of programmed cell death is considered to be a major aspect of tumorigenesis. Indeed, several key oncogenic transcription factors, such as NF-κB and STAT3, exert their tumor-promoting activity at least in part through upregulation of survival genes. However, many cancers develop in response to chronic tissue injury, in which the resulting cell death increases the tumorigenic potential of the neighboring cells. In this review, we discuss a resolution to this paradox based on cell death-mediated induction of tumor promoting inflammatory cytokines, which enhance cell survival and trigger compensatory proliferation in response to tissue injury.
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