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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2010, Article ID 581837, 9 pages
Review Article

Toll-Like Receptors, Tissue Injury, and Tumourigenesis

Department of Pathophysiology, Medical School, National University of Athens, 75 Mikras Asias Street, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 2 December 2009; Accepted 6 August 2010

Academic Editor: Kathy Triantafilou

Copyright © 2010 Savvas Ioannou and Michael Voulgarelis. 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.


Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to a class of molecules known as pattern recognition receptors, and they are part of the innate immune system, although they modulate mechanisms that impact the development of adaptive immune responses. Several studies have shown that TLRs, and their intracellular signalling components, constitute an important cellular pathway mediating the inflammatory process. Moreover, their critical role in the regulation of tissue injury and wound healing process as well as in the regulation of apoptosis is well established. However, interest in the role of these receptors in cancer development and progression has been increasing over the last years. TLRs are likely candidates to mediate effects of the innate immune system within the tumour microenvironment. A rapidly expanding area of research regarding the expression and function of TLRs in cancer cells and its association with chemoresistance and tumourigenesis, and TLR-based therapy as potential immunotherapy in cancer treatment is taking place over the last years.