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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 May 15;13(10):2825-30.

Vascular endothelial growth factor and its relationship to inflammatory mediators.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. langelo@alltel.net


Inflammation occurs in response to host injury or infection, as the result of an autoimmune disease, or in response to the development of a tumor. Although the immune system may be helpful in fighting the tumor, it may also fuel the tumorigenic process. In fact, recent data suggest a strong link between chronic inflammation, angiogenesis, and the development of cancer. For example, inflammation and scarring caused by recurring infections with Mycobacterium tuberculosis may be a cause for cancers of the lung. Inflammatory breast cancer exhibits increased angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis and has a higher metastatic potential than noninflammatory breast cancer. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have been proposed as preventives for the development of colon carcinoma and ovarian cancer. Inhibition of nuclear factor-kappaB contributes to the proposed mechanism of action. Inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6, serve as autocrine and paracrine growth factors for several cancers, and high levels of these cytokines may correlate with a poor prognosis and increased production of angiogenic factors. The state of the art of our understanding of this critical interaction is reviewed.

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