IL-1 and IL-1 regulatory pathways in cancer progression and therapy

Immunol Rev. 2018 Jan;281(1):57-61. doi: 10.1111/imr.12614.


Inflammation is an important component of the tumor microenvironment. IL-1 is an inflammatory cytokine which plays a key role in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. IL-1 is subject to regulation by components of the IL-1 and IL-1 receptor (ILR) families. Negative regulators include a decoy receptor (IL-1R2), receptor antagonists (IL-1Ra), IL-1R8, and anti-inflammatory IL-37. IL-1 acts at different levels in tumor initiation and progression, including driving chronic non-resolving inflammation, tumor angiogenesis, activation of the IL-17 pathway, induction of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and macrophage recruitment, invasion and metastasis. Based on initial clinical results, the translation potential of IL-1 targeting deserves extensive analysis.

Keywords: inflammation; inflammation-associated cancer; interleukin-1; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Interleukin-1 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-17 / metabolism
  • Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-17
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1