Interleukin-6 cytokine: A multifunctional glycoprotein for cancer

Paul Zarogoulidis, Lonny Yarmus, Kaid Darwiche, Robert Walter, Haidong Huang, Zhigang Li, Bojan Zaric, Kosmas Tsakiridis, Konstantinos Zarogoulidis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Interleukin 6 is a multifunctional cytokine. Its increased levels have been associated with elevated cancer risk, and also these levels have been found to be a prognostic factor for several cancer types. In addition, increased levels have been found in coronary heart disease, insulin resistant patients, advance stage cancer patients, atopy/asthma and in patients with blood circulating micrometastasis. Additionally several studies with different types of cancers have been performed to identify the correlation between interleukin-6 levels, stage, treatment response and severity of symptoms. The influence of interleukin-6 is performed mainly through the janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription-zinc finger protein 1-2 signaling pathway. As a result, the increased levels of interleukin-6 are responsible for enhanced neo-angiogenesis, inhibition of cancer cell apoptosis and deregulation of the control mechanisms in the microenvironment. In addition, increased levels of inteleukin-6 have been found to increase the production of collagen and a-actin which induce interstitial lung disease. In the current mini review we will present information regarding the interleukin-6 and published results in several cancer studies and finally we will comment in future treatment approaches blocking this cytokine in cancer patients. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1000062
JournalImmunome Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Cytokine
  • Interleukin-6
  • JAK
  • STAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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