Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Reviews on Cancer vol:1825 pages:117-129
Chronic inflammation may increase the risk to develop cancer, for instance esophagitis or gastritis may lead to development of esophageal or gastric cancer, respectively. The key molecules attracting leukocytes to local inflammatory sites are chemokines. We here provide a systematic review on the impact of CXC chemokines (binding the receptors CXCR1, CXCR2, CXCR3 and CXCR4) on the transition of chronic inflammation in the upper gastrointestinal tract to neoplasia. CXCR2 ligands, including GRO-α,β,γ/CXCL1,2,3, ENA-78/CXCL5 and IL-8/CXCL8 chemoattract pro-tumoral neutrophils. In addition, angiogenic CXCR2 ligands stimulate the formation of new blood vessels, facilitating tumor progression. The CXCR4 ligand SDF-1/CXCL12 also promotes tumor development by stimulating angiogenesis and by favoring metastasis of CXCR4-positive tumor cells to distant organs producing SDF-1/CXCL12. Furthermore, these angiogenic chemokines also directly enhance tumor cell survival and proliferation. In contrast, the CXCR3 ligands Mig/CXCL9, IP-10/CXCL10 and I-TAC/CXCL11 are angiostatic and attract anti-tumoral T lymphocytes and may therefore mediate tumor growth retardation and regression. Thus, chemokines exert diverging, sometimes dual roles in tumor biology as described for esophageal and gastric cancer. Therefore extensive research is needed to completely unravel the complex chemokine code in specific cancers. Possibly, chemokine-targeted cancer therapy will have to be adapted to the individual's chemokine profile.