The chemokine network in cancer - much more than directing cell movement
Published: 1 September 2004
Hagen Kulbe, Neil R. Levinson, Fran Balkwill and Julia L. Wilson
Cancer Research UK, Translational Oncology Laboratory, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, U.K.
Cytokine and chemokine gradients are central to the directed movement of cells in
both homeostatic and pathological processes. Most cancers have a complex chemokine network
which can influence immune responses to the tumor, direct the extent and cellular composition of
the leukocyte infiltrate and also play a role in angiogenesis. Tumor cells can also hijack the
chemokine system and gain expression of certain chemokine receptors and respond to specific
chemokine gradients. Chemokine receptor expression and activation on malignant cells may be central to the growth, survival and migration of cancer cells from the primary tumor. Chemokine receptors, both CC and CXC have been detected on malignant cells and the relevant ligands are
sometimes expressed at the tumor site and at sites of tumor spread, suggesting a role for the chemokine family in malignant growth and metastasis.