It has been established that cancer can be promoted and/or exacerbated by inflammation and infections. Indeed, chronic inflammation orchestrates a tumor-supporting microenvironment that is an indispensable participant in the neoplastic process. The mechanisms that link infection, innate immunity, inflammation, and cancer are being unraveled at a fast pace. Important components in this linkage are the cytokines produced by activated innate immune cells that stimulate tumor growth and progression. In addition, soluble mediators produced by cancer cells recruit and activate inflammatory cells, which further stimulate tumor progression. However, inflammatory cells also produce cytokines that can limit tumor growth. Here we provide an overview of the current understanding of the role of inflammation-induced cytokines in tumor initiation, promotion, and progression.
Wan-Wan Lin, Michael Karin
The diagram shows two outcomes of interactions between tumor cells and infiltrating inflammatory and/or immune cells in the tumor microenvironment.