The chemokine system and cancer


  • Frances R Balkwill

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Cancer and Inflammation, Barts Cancer Institute, London, UK
    • Centre for Cancer and Inflammation, Barts Cancer Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
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  • Conflict of interest. The author has a current research project in her laboratory relating to a chemokine receptor that is funded by Affitech AS.


Chemokines (chemo-attractant cytokines) are a group of small proteins that act together with their cell surface receptors, in development, normal physiology and immune responses, to direct cells to specific locations throughout the body. Cancer cells acquire the ability to subvert the chemokine system, such that these molecules and their receptors become important regulators of cell movement into and out of the tumour microenvironment and major players in cancer biology. Copyright © 2011 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.