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Src as the link between inflammation and cancer

ABSTRACT

Although a causal link between chronic inflammation and cancer has been established, the exact molecular mechanism linking inflammation to cancer remains largely unknown. It was previously postulated that molecular switches responsible for cancer cell development, and for infiltration of inflammatory cells into cancer, were divided into a distinct set of intracellular proteins and signaling pathways. However, recent evidence suggests that both tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells utilize the same kinases, mostly that of Src family, to facilitate cancer development and progression. In the past few years several groups have found that Src activation both in cancer and inflammatory cells is mainly driven by pro-inflammatory cytokines within the tumor microenvironment. Here we evaluate the cross talks between Src kinase pathways in immune cells and cancer cells. We conclude that Src might serve as a critical mechanistic link between inflammation and cancer, mediating and propagating a cycle between immune and tissue cells that can ultimately lead to the development and progression of cancer.