Immune biomarkers for chronic inflammation related complications in non-cancerous and cancerous diseases

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2017 Aug;66(8):1089-1101. doi: 10.1007/s00262-017-2035-6. Epub 2017 Jul 3.


Chronic inflammation arising in a diverse range of non-cancerous and cancerous diseases, dysregulates immunity and exposes patients to a variety of complications. These include immunosuppression, tissue damage, cardiovascular diseases and more. In cancer, chronic inflammation and related immunosuppression can directly support tumor growth and dramatically reduce the efficacies of traditional treatments, as well as novel immune-based therapies, which require a functional immune system. Nowadays, none of the immune biomarkers, regularly used by clinicians can sense a developing chronic inflammation, thus complications can only be detected upon their appearance. This review focuses on the necessity for such immune status biomarkers, which could predict complications prior to their appearance. Herein we bring examples for the use of cellular and molecular biomarkers in diagnosis, prognosis and follow-up of patients suffering from various cancers, for prediction of response to immune-based anti-cancer therapy and for prediction of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes patients. Monitoring such biomarkers is expected to have a major clinical impact in addition to unraveling of the entangled complexity underlying dysregulated immunity in chronic inflammation. Thus, newly discovered biomarkers and those that are under investigation are projected to open a new era towards combating the silent damage induced by chronic inflammation.

Keywords: Cancer; Chronic inflammation; Immune biomarkers; Immunosuppression; MDSC; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Humans
  • Immune System*
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunologic Tests
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / immunology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators