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Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(9):1248-1253. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4614

Review

Interleukin-6 - A Key Regulator of Colorectal Cancer Development

Maximilian J. Waldner, Sebastian Foersch, Markus F. Neurath

Department of Medicine 1, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Abstract

Growing evidence proposes an important role for pro-inflammatory cytokines during tumor development. Several experimental and clinical studies have linked the pleiotropic cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) to the pathogenesis of sporadic and inflammation-associated colorectal cancer (CRC). Increased IL-6 expression has been related to advanced stage of disease and decreased survival in CRC patients. According to experimental studies, these effects are mediated through IL-6 trans-signaling promoting tumor cell proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis through gp130 activation on tumor cells with subsequent signaling through Janus kinases (JAKs) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3).

During recent years, several therapeutics targeting the IL-6/STAT3 pathway have been developed and pose a promising strategy for the treatment of CRC. This review discusses the molecular mechanisms and possible therapeutic targets involved in IL-6 signaling in CRC.

Keywords: interleukin-6, IL-6, colorectal cancer

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Waldner MJ, Foersch S, Neurath MF. Interleukin-6 - A Key Regulator of Colorectal Cancer Development. Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(9):1248-1253. doi:10.7150/ijbs.4614. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v08p1248.htm