Interleukin-1 signaling in solid organ malignancies

Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2022 Jan;1877(1):188670. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2021.188670. Epub 2021 Dec 16.


As inflammation plays a critical role in the development and progression of cancer, therapeutic targeting of cytokine pathways involved in both tumorigenesis and dictating response to clinical treatments are of significant interest. Recent evidence has highlighted the importance of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) as a key mediator of tumor growth, metastatic disease spread, immunosuppression, and drug resistance in cancer. IL-1 promotes tumorigenesis through diverse mechanisms, including the activation of oncogenic signaling pathways directly in tumor cells and via orchestrating crosstalk between the cellular constituents of the tumor microenvironment (TME), thereby driving cancer growth. This review will provide an overview of IL-1 signaling and physiology and summarize the disparate mechanisms involving IL-1 in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. Additionally, clinical studies targeting IL-1 signaling in the management of solid organ tumors will be summarized herein.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal cancer; Immune suppression; Inflammation; Interleukin-1; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tumor Microenvironment*


  • Interleukin-1