Table of Contents
Lung Cancer International
Volume 2014, Article ID 721087, 9 pages
Review Article

Alveolar Macrophage Polarisation in Lung Cancer

1Cancer & Tissue Repair Laboratory, RMIT University, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia
2Applied Medical Sciences College, Qassim University, Buraidah 51452, Saudi Arabia
3Institute for Breathing & Sleep, Austin Health, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia
4School of Medical Sciences, RMIT University, P.O. Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083, Australia

Received 18 February 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published 8 May 2014

Academic Editor: Kosei Yasumoto

Copyright © 2014 Saleh A. Almatroodi 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.


The role of alveolar macrophages in lung cancer is multifaceted and conflicting. Alveolar macrophage secretion of proinflammatory cytokines has been found to enhance antitumour functions, cytostasis (inhibition of tumour growth), and cytotoxicity (macrophage-mediated killing). In contrast, protumour functions of alveolar macrophages in lung cancer have also been indicated. Inhibition of antitumour function via secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 as well as reduced secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and reduction of mannose receptor expression on alveolar macrophages may contribute to lung cancer progression and metastasis. Alveolar macrophages have also been found to contribute to angiogenesis and tumour growth via the secretion of IL-8 and VEGF. This paper reviews the evidence for a dual role of alveolar macrophages in lung cancer progression.