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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2004 Aug;4(4):314-20.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the pathogenesis and treatment of cancer.

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Centocor, 200 Great Valley Parkway, Malvern, PA 19355, USA.


The critical pathogenic role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)alpha in inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease is well established. The role played by TNFalpha in both the treatment and pathogenesis of cancer remains less understood. Recent advances help to create a framework for understanding seemingly paradoxical effects of TNFalpha as both an anti-tumour agent and a mediator of tumour growth. High pharmacological doses of TNFalpha combined with chemotherapy can regress otherwise intractable tumours, and efforts continue to optimize delivery to avoid severe toxicities. Mounting evidence demonstrates that pathophysiological concentrations of endogenous TNFalpha act to promote tumour genesis and growth. The cellular and molecular pathways mediating these phenomena are starting to be clarified. Current data support the continued development of both TNFalpha and anti-TNFalpha therapy for clinical treatment of cancers in distinct settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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