Cancer Cell-Autonomous Parainflammation Mimics Immune Cell Infiltration

Cancer Res. 2017 Jul 15;77(14):3740-3744. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-3383. Epub 2017 Jun 30.


Parainflammation is a unique variant of inflammation, characterized by epithelial-autonomous activation of inflammatory response. Parainflammation has been shown to strongly promote mouse gut tumorigenesis upon p53 loss. In a recent study, we explored the prevalence of parainflammation in human cancer and determined its relationship to certain molecular and clinical parameters affecting treatment and prognosis. Parainflammation can be identified from a 40-gene signature and is found in both carcinoma cell lines and a variety of primary tumors, independently of tumor microenvironment. Here, we discuss the implications of our findings in analyses of tumor microenvironment, suggesting that as tumor cell gene expression may often mimic immune and inflammatory infiltration, caution should be applied when interpreting tumor expression data. We also address the connection between parainflammation and prevalence of p53 mutations in specific types of tumors, and cancer prevention by regular usage of NSAIDs. We suggest that parainflammation may serve as a novel biomarker for screening patients who may particularly benefit from NSAID treatment. Cancer Res; 77(14); 3740-4. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / immunology
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Carcinoma / immunology*
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Tumor Microenvironment / immunology