Cytokine polymorphism and its possible impact on cancer

Ping Jin, Monica C. Panelli, Francesco M. Marincola, Ena Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Citations (Scopus)


Human cancer is an unpredictable disease as is its response to therapy. The intrinsic genetic heterogeneity and instability of cancer cells could in part explain such behavior. However, it is possible that, individual variation in the genetic make-up of humans may affect the relationship between host and cancer cells and, therefore, be, at least in part responsible for this extraordinary variation. Human gene polymorphism has been shown indeed to play a role in immune responses; among the immune-related genes, cytokines are often polymorphic. Some polymorphisms of cytokine and cytokine receptor may have direct functional significance by altering directly and indirectly the level of gene expression and/or its function; other may only demarcate a genetic linkage to a particular haplotype associated with a given clinical condition. The majority of polymorphisms found in cytokines or their receptors are located in the promoter, intronic and 3′ untranslated regions. These sequence variations can still affect gene expression and function. In this review will we summarize the current knowledge about the role of cytokine polymorphism in disease and more specifically in cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalImmunologic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Cytokine
  • Cytokine polymorphism
  • Immune responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this