Copyright ©The Author(s) 2023.
World J Clin Oncol. Jul 24, 2023; 14(7): 230-246
Published online Jul 24, 2023. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v14.i7.230
Table 1 Summary of various inflammatory and fibrotic conditions and relevant malignancies
Associated cancer
Risk ratio
Possible therapeutic targets
Inflammatory bowel diseaseColorectal cancerIncreased pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 and TGF-β)[24,30,34]; Increased signalling of pro-tumorigenic molecular pathways, apoptosis resistance, fibrogenesis (NF-ĸB and Wnt/β-catenin)[9,27,30,34]Ulcerative colitis – 4.8-fold increase[13]; Crohn’s disease – 2-3-fold increase[17]Thiopurines[173] and anti-inflammatory such as mesalazine[174] and NSAID[149]
Chronic pancreatitis Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomaIncreased cytokines (TNF-α and TGF-β), growth factors (VEGF, PDGF)[38]; Fibroblast and pancreatic epithelial cell proliferation[40]; Activation of pancreatic stellate cells[39,40]; Increased ECM protein (collagen 1 and 4, laminin, fibronectin) and hyaluronic acid deposition[38]20-fold increase[35]PEGylated Recombinant Human Hyaluronidase[45,46]; NSAID[149]
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosisLung cancerCellular morphological abnormalities (metaplasia, dysplasia) in fibrotic areas[59]; Reduced immune expression (monocytes, lymphocytes, macrophages) in fibrotic areas[50]; Mutations in tumour-suppressor genes[54]; Upregulated gene expression of ECM components such as collagen and MMP (MMP9 and 11)[57]3.5-7.3 fold increase[51]Anti-fibrotic drugs (pirfenidone and nindetanib)[175]
PneumoconiosisLung cancerSilicosis: Chronic increased release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-12, IL-23 and TNFα) results in DNA damage[66]; Immunosuppression through increased expression of inhibitory immune markers (PD-1, LAG3, FOXP30)[70]. Asbestosis: Increased inflammation (IL-1β, TGF-β and PDGF) and fibrosis through expression of NLRP3[70]; Increased ROS and RNS[64,68]; Increased expression of proliferation signalling pathways (EGFR-ERK)[73] Silicosis – 3-fold increase[15]; Asbestosis – 1.5-6.8-fold increase[65,65] Anti-fibrotic drugs (pirfenidone and nindetanib)[152]
TBLung cancerUpregulation of anti-apoptotic protein expression via inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6)[59,76,78] Pneumonia – 1.4-fold increase[14]; TB – 1.9-fold increase[14] NSAID[176]
Liver cirrhosisHepato-cellular carcinomaCellular proliferation, telomere shortening via inflammatory cytokines (TGF-β, TNF-α and interleukins)[83,84]; Genomic instability (p53, Ras, mTOR, Wnt signalling pathways)[11,84]; Reduced expression of CD4+ and CD8+ cytotoxic T cell[85]; Increased regulatory T-cell response[86]; Activation of hepatic stellate cells increase myofibroblast and ECM production[11,87]; Hypoxia in fibrosis leads to genotoxicity (ROS, RNO) and angiogenesis (VEGF)[92] Hepatitis B related – 1.17-fold increase[81]; Hepatitis C related - 1.15-fold increase[81]; NAFLD-related – 1.6-23.7-fold increase[161] LOX/LOXL2 inhibitors[161,162]; NSAID, Pentoxifylline[177,178]
Primary biliary cholangitis CholangiocarcinomaIncreased proliferative signalling via inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and HGF)[96-98]; IL-6 activates p38-MAPK, increases DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) Mcl-1 and telomerase expression[96]; DNA damage (BRAF, K-ras, cyclin d-1, c-myc, COX-2 and p53) due to dysregulated NO production[98]; Fibroblast proliferation and ECM production (collagen type 1 and 3)[103] 9-fold increase[94] Natural anti-inflammatory products (Curcumin)[102]
GERD and Barrett’s oesophagusOesophageal cancerIncreased inflammatory cell recruitment (macrophages T, B, dendritic cells)[107]; Inflammatory cytokine release (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-8) activates pro tumorigenic signalling pathways (NF-Κb, STAT-3, HIF-1a)[107,108]; Reduced immune response due to immunosuppressive cytokines (IL-10)[112]; Oxidative stress (ROS and RNS) induce mutagenesis of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes[110] 30-125-fold increase[106] NSAID[149]
OSFOral squamous cell carcinomaIncreased inflammatory cell recruitment[118]; Oxidative stress induces p53 mutation, decreased DMNT and increased HSP70 and MDM2-P2 promoter[120,122]; Increased prostaglandins, cytokines and growth factors (IL-6, TNF-α, PDGF and TGF-β)[118,119]; Fibrogenesis via IL-6 and TGF-β leads to increased ECM protein production (collagen, fibonectin) and inhibit ECM breakdown (PAI-1, TIMP)[124,125]; OSF-associated fibroblast promote dysplastic keratinocyte proliferation via GRO-α release and EGFR/ERK activation[128] 19-fold increase[114]Anti-oxidants, steroids and hyaluronidase[178]
Physiological breast stromal density, breast conditions – chronic mastitis, sclerosing adenosisBreast cancerMammographically dense breast have higher ECM proportion (collagen, immune cells)[131,133]; Mammographically dense breast have higher proportion of glandular epithelial components and lower proportion of adipocytes[132-134] Physiological higher MBD: 4-6-fold increase[130]; Chronic mastitis: 3-fold increase[137]; Sclerosing adenosis: 2-fold increase[138] Anti-estrogens (tamoxifen, raloxifene, exemestane and anastrozole)[154-157]; NSAID[149]; LOX-like inhibitors[159,160,163]