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Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2006 Sep;25(3):409-16.

TNF-alpha in promotion and progression of cancer.

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Institute of Cancer and the CR-UK Clinical Centre, Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, 3rd Floor, John Vane Science Centre, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ, UK.


Tumour necrosis factor alpha is a member of the TNF/TNFR cytokine superfamily. In common with other family members, TNF-alpha is involved in maintenance and homeostasis of the immune system, inflammation and host defence. However, there is a 'dark side' to this powerful cytokine; it is now clear that, especially in middle and old age, TNF-alpha is involved in pathological processes such as chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and, in apparent contradiction to its name, malignant disease. This article will discuss the involvement of TNF-alpha in the inflammatory network that contributes to all stages of the malignant process, and consider the possibility that TNF-alpha may be a target for cancer therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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