Inflammation in Cancer:


Cancer-related inflammation


Alberto Mantovani1,2, Paola Allavena1, Antonio Sica3 & Frances Balkwill4

The mediators and cellular effectors of inflammation are important constituents of the local environment of

tumours. In some types of cancer, inflammatory conditions are present before a malignant change occurs.

Conversely, in other types of cancer, an oncogenic change induces an inflammatory microenvironment that

promotes the development of tumours. Regardless of its origin, ‘smouldering’ inflammation in the tumour

microenvironment has many tumour-promoting effects. It aids in the proliferation and survival of malignant

cells, promotes angiogenesis and metastasis, subverts adaptive immune responses, and alters responses

to hormones and chemotherapeutic agents. The molecular pathways of this cancer-related inflammation

are now being unravelled, resulting in the identification of new target molecules that could lead to improved

diagnosis and treatment.