There is increasing evidence in the literature pointing to an important role of inflammation during initiation and progression of cancer. Glioblastoma is the most common malignant primary brain tumor with approximately 23,000 newly-diagnosed cases each year in the United States, and has a dismal median survival of only 15 months. Although the blood-brain barrier maintains an immune-privileged status of the brain under steady state, intracranial tumors including gliomas are invariably infiltrated with various types of immune cells. The T helper 17 (Th17) cells, a recently discovered interleukin (IL)-17-producing T cell subtype, have been reported in several extracranial and some intracranial tumors, where they have been implicated in either pro- or antitumor activity depending on the tumor type. Here, we present a succinct review of the current literature on the prevalence and potential role of IL-17 in malignant gliomas. Further mechanistic studies on IL-17 mediated inflammatory pathway in gliomas may provide with opportunities for novel immunotherapeutic interventions.
Keywords: Brain cancer; IL-17; Inflammation; Malignant glioma; T cells; Th17.