The IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathway: potential therapeutic strategies in treating colorectal cancer (Review)

Int J Oncol. 2014 Apr;44(4):1032-40. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2259. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


Among the cytokines linked to inflammation-associated cancer, interleukin (IL)-6 drives many of the cancer 'hallmarks' through downstream activation of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (JAK/STAT3) signaling pathway. Additionally, dysregulation of the interleukin (IL)-6-mediated JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway is closely related to the development of diverse human solid tumors including colorectal cancer (CRC). On this basis, modulation of the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway is currently being widely explored to develop novel therapies for CRC. The present review details the mechanisms and roles of the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathway in CRC, describes current therapeutic strategies, and the search for potential therapeutic approaches to treat CRC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Janus Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Janus Kinases / genetics
  • Janus Kinases / metabolism
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Janus Kinases