Topic Highlight
Copyright ©2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 14, 2014; 20(14): 3751-3761
Published online Apr 14, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i14.3751
Gastro-intestinal toxicity of chemotherapeutics in colorectal cancer: The role of inflammation
Chun Seng Lee, Elizabeth J Ryan, Glen A Doherty
Chun Seng Lee, Elizabeth J Ryan, Glen A Doherty, Centre for Colorectal Disease, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin 4, Ireland
Chun Seng Lee, Elizabeth J Ryan, Glen A Doherty, School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
Author contributions: Lee CS reviewed the literature and wrote the manuscript; Ryan EJ and Doherty GA edited and revised the manuscript; All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Supported by A Newman Fellowship awarded by the University College Dublin Foundation and sponsored by Helsinn-Birex Pharmaceuticals
Correspondence to: Dr. Glen A Doherty, Centre for Colorectal Disease, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. glen.doherty@ucd.ie
Telephone: +353-1-2214711 Fax: +353-1-2214177
Received: October 15, 2013
Revised: January 16, 2014
Accepted: February 26, 2014
Published online: April 14, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: Many new drugs are available for use in the treatment of colorectal cancer, resulting in improved prognosis, but also more frequent and severe side-effects. In order to implement complex chemotherapy regimens most effectively, a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms of associated toxicities are required. Different chemotherapeutic agents activate a diverse range of pro-inflammatory pathways culminating in distinct histopathological changes in intestinal mucosa. However, inflammation also has beneficial effects; enhancing anti-tumor immunity. A better understanding of how to manage the gastrointestinal side-effects of chemotherapy allowing for optimal dosing and induction of immunity will further improve outcomes in colorectal cancer.