Patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases are at an increased risk of developing colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Chronic inflammation positively correlates with tumorigenesis. Similarly, the cumulative rate of incidence of developing CAC increases with prolonged colon inflammation. Immune signaling pathways, such as nuclear factor (NF)-κB, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2)/cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin (IL)-6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), and IL-23/T helper 17 cell (Th17), have been shown to promote CAC tumorigenesis. In addition, gut microbiota contributes to the development and progression of CAC. This review summarizes the signaling pathways involved in the pathogenesis following colon inflammation to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms in CAC tumorigenesis.
Keywords: colitis-associated cancer; colorectal cancer; inflammatory bowel disease; signaling pathway; ulcerative colitis.