Published online Jun 21, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i23.2863
Peer-review started: March 2, 2019
First decision: April 16, 2019
Revised: April 24, 2019
Accepted: May 8, 2019
Article in press: May 8, 2019
Published online: June 21, 2019
Core tip: Chronic inflammation can promote the occurrence and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC), drawing more attention to the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines and immune cells in this cancer. By regulating the expression of various inflammatory signaling pathways and pro-inflammatory cytokines, epigenetic inheritance not only participates in the transformation of inflammation into CRC, but also facilitates invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance of CRC. Compared with gene mutation that is irreversible, epigenetic inheritance is reversible or can be altered by the intervention. Therefore, the tumor microenvironment can be regulated by modulating epigenetic modifications, which may be novel alternatives to prevent and treat CRC.