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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2009 Aug;9(4):389-95. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

Current and potential inflammation targeted therapies in head and neck cancer.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program, 1 Cloister Ct, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Inflammation often exists in the tumor microenvironment and is induced by inflammatory mediators (cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors) produced by the tumor, stroma, and infiltrating cells. These factors modulate tissue remodeling and angiogenesis and actively promote tumor cell survival and chemoresistance through autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) are highly inflammatory and aggressive in nature, and they express a number of cytokines and growth factors involved in inflammation. These cytokines and growth factors activate important signal transduction pathways, including NF-kappaB, JAK/STAT, and PI3K/Akt/mTOR, which regulate the expression of genes controlling growth, survival, and chemosensitivity. This review provides an update on recent advances in the understanding of the mechanisms driving cancer-related inflammation in HNSCC and on molecular targeted therapies under preclinical and clinical investigation.

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