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Trends Immunol. 2005 Jun;26(6):318-25.

Inflammation-associated cancer: NF-kappaB is the lynchpin.

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  • 1Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


It has long been suspected that NF-kappaB signaling has a pivotal role in chronic inflammation-associated malignancies, although genetic evidence for this hypothesis has been lacking. However, recent papers have lent credence to this concept and show that NF-kappaB activation in pre-malignant cells contributes to cell survival and metastatic potential. Furthermore, NF-kappaB activation in tumor-associated leukocytes, especially macrophages, contributes towards tumorigenesis by upregulating tumor-promoting proinflammatory proteins. This emphasizes the importance of NF-kappaB inhibitors as immunotherapeutic agents for chronic inflammation and suggests that these reagents might prevent, or at least inhibit, chronic inflammation-associated tumorigenesis.

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