Chemokines are a superfamily of pro-inflammatory polypeptide cytokines that selectively attract and activate different cell types. Many patho-physiological conditions require the participation of chemokines, including inflammation, infection, tissue injury, allergy, cardiovascular diseases, as well as malignant tumors. Chemokines activate cells through their binding to shared or unique cell surface receptors which belong to the seven-transmembrane, G-protein-coupled Rhodopsin superfamily. The role of chemokines in malignant tumors is complex: while some chemokines may enhance innate or specific host immunity against tumor implantation, others may favor tumor growth and metastasis by promoting tumor cell proliferation, migration or neovascularization in tumor tissue. In this review, the authors summarize some of the recent advances in chemokine research and emphasis is made on the effect of chemokines in tumor growth and metastasis.