Chemokine signaling in cancer: One hump or two?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Chemokines and their receptors play essential roles in the development and function of multiple tissues. Chemokine expression, particularly CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4, has prognostic significance in several cancers apparently due to chemokine mediated growth and metastatic spread. These observations provide the rationale for pursuing CXCR4 inhibition for cancer chemotherapy. However, the multiple homeostatic functions of CXCR4 may preclude global inhibition as a therapeutic strategy. Here I review CXCR4 signaling and how it might differ in normal and transformed cells with special emphasis on the role that altered CXCR4 counter-regulation might play in tumor biology. I propose that CXCR4 mediates unique signals in cancer cells as a consequence of abnormal counter-regulation and that this results in novel biological responses. The importance of testing this hypothesis lies in the possibility that targeting abnormal CXCR4 signaling might provide an anti-tumor effect without disturbing normal CXCR4 functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Cancer Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • CXCL12
  • CXCR4
  • Cancer
  • Chemokine
  • Desensitization


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemokine signaling in cancer: One hump or two?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this