The role of circulating cytokines in colorectal carcinoma
Host-tumor interactions are primarily controlled by paracrine interactions between adjacent normal host cells and malignant cells. Recent evidence from experimental and clinical neoplasms indicates that neoplasms, or their products, produce levels of circulating pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines that modulate these local paracrine interactions in such a way that promotes tumor growth. This brief review focuses on several cytokines (interleukin-6, interleukin-10, transforming growth factor-beta, and vascular endothelial growth factor) that have systemic effects in experimental models and are associated with prognosis in patients with colorectal carcinoma. The primary focus of this review is on colorectal carcinoma, but implications for other malignancies are also considered. Colorectal and similar carcinomas may exert systemic control over neoplastic progression by modulating circulating levels of cytokines that then influence the growth of distant metastasis by affecting local paracrine interactions.
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