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Cytokine networks are crucial aspects of tumour immunology, particularly for colorectal cancer (CRC), in which inflammation and antitumour immunity are key determinants of disease progression. In this Review, we highlight new insights into the functions of well-known cytokines in CRC, describe recently discovered roles for a growing number of novel players, and emphasize the complexity and therapeutic implications of the cytokine milieu. We also discuss how cancer mutations and epigenetic adaptations influence the oncogenic potential of cytokines, a relatively unexplored area that could yield crucial insights into tumour immunology and facilitate the effective application of cytokine-modulatory therapies for CRC.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature reviews. Immunology

Publication Date





615 - 629


Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.


Humans, Colorectal Neoplasms, Disease Progression, Inflammation Mediators, Cytokines, Signal Transduction, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Mutation, Models, Immunological