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Int J Cancer. 2007 Dec 1;121(11):2373-80.

Inflammation and cancer: an ancient link with novel potentials.

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Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Infection and chronic inflammation contribute to about 1 in 4 of all cancer cases. Mediators of the inflammatory response, e.g., cytokines, free radicals, prostaglandins and growth factors, can induce genetic and epigenetic changes including point mutations in tumor suppressor genes, DNA methylation and post-translational modifications, causing alterations in critical pathways responsible for maintaining the normal cellular homeostasis and leading to the development and progression of cancer. Recent discovery of an interaction between microRNAs and innate immunity during inflammation has further strengthened the association between inflammation and cancer.

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