Inflammation, proteases and cancer

Léon C.L. van Kempen, Karin E. de Visser, Lisa M. Coussens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Tumours are complex tissues composed of ever-evolving neoplastic cells, matrix proteins that provide structural support and sequester biologically active molecules, and a cellular stromal component. Reciprocal interactions between neoplastic cells, activated host cells and the dynamic micro-environment in which they live enables tumour growth and dissemination. It has become evident that early and persistent inflammatory responses observed in or around developing neoplasms regulates many aspects of tumour development (matrix remodelling, angiogenesis, malignant potential) by providing diverse mediators implicated in maintaining tissue homeostasis, e.g., soluble growth and survival factors, matrix remodelling enzymes, reactive oxygen species and other bioactive molecules. This review highlights recent insights into the role of chronic inflammation associated with cancer development and examines proteolytic pathways activated by infiltrating leukocytes during neoplastic programming of tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-734
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive immunity
  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Innate immunity
  • Proteinases
  • Stroma
  • Tumour micro-environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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