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Can inflammation near tumours encourage it to grow?

  • Researcher: Dr Vincenzo Russo
  • Institution: Fondazione Centro San Raffaele
  • Award Amount: £144,783 for 3 years from June 2011
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Can inflammation near tumours encourage it to grow?

Recent findings indicate that inflammation in the area a tumour is forming may actually help the tumour develop. Indeed, in mice where inflammation is prevented, tumours stop growing and some even disappear. Inflammatory cells are found in the tumour microenvironment - the space in between the cancer cells within the tumour mass. However, it is not yet clear how the tumours persuade these inflammatory cells to promote the growth of the tumour and this is the focus of Dr Russo's Worldwide Cancer Research grant. In particular he is focussing on the pro-tumour role of a group of molecules called LXR agonists as he already has some convincing evidence that they play a role in tumour growth.

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