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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 149185, 19 pages
Review Article

Chronic Inflammation and Cytokines in the Tumor Microenvironment

1Disciplinary Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Chile, Independencia 1027, 8380453 Santiago, Chile
2Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, 2 Prannok Road, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand

Received 10 February 2014; Accepted 15 April 2014; Published 13 May 2014

Academic Editor: Evelin Grage-Griebenow

Copyright © 2014 Glauben Landskron et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute inflammation is a response to an alteration induced by a pathogen or a physical or chemical insult, which functions to eliminate the source of the damage and restore homeostasis to the affected tissue. However, chronic inflammation triggers cellular events that can promote malignant transformation of cells and carcinogenesis. Several inflammatory mediators, such as TNF-α, IL-6, TGF-β, and IL-10, have been shown to participate in both the initiation and progression of cancer. In this review, we explore the role of these cytokines in important events of carcinogenesis, such as their capacity to generate reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, their potential mutagenic effect, and their involvement in mechanisms for epithelial mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Finally, we will provide an in-depth analysis of the participation of these cytokines in two types of cancer attributable to chronic inflammatory disease: colitis-associated colorectal cancer and cholangiocarcinoma.