Innate immunity includes a cellular and a humoral arm. PTX3 is a fluid-phase pattern recognition molecule conserved in evolution which acts as a key component of humoral innate immunity in infections of fungal, bacterial, and viral origin. PTX3 binds conserved microbial structures and self-components under conditions of inflammation and activates effector functions (complement, phagocytosis). Moreover, it has a complex regulatory role in inflammation, such as ischemia/reperfusion injury and cancer-related inflammation, as well as in extracellular matrix organization and remodeling, with profound implications in physiology and pathology. Finally, PTX3 acts as an extrinsic oncosuppressor gene by taming tumor-promoting inflammation in murine and selected human tumors. Thus evidence suggests that PTX3 is a key homeostatic component at the crossroad of innate immunity, inflammation, tissue repair, and cancer. Dissecting the complexity of PTX3 pathophysiology and human genetics paves the way to diagnostic and therapeutic exploitation.