Some Human Cancers Exhibit Low-grade Inflammation

NSAIDs reduce this "parainflammation," hinting at how they help lower cancer risk.

Alison F. Takemura
Sep 30, 2016

SIMMER DOWN: A mouse adenoma organoid treated with an NSAID (right) has less parainflammation (orange marker; control on the left). HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM, AUDREY LASRY AND GENOME BIOL, 17:145, 2016

EDITOR'S CHOICE IN CELL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

The paper
D. Aran et al., “Widespread parainflammation in human cancer,” Genome Biol, 17:145, 2016.

Smoldering threat
Researchers in Israel were trying to understand why a particular mouse model was so unusually cancer-prone once it suffered a mutation in the tumor suppressor gene p53. They noticed that the animal’s epithelial tissue showed signs of low-grade inflammation, undetectable by normal hallmarks such as white blood cell recruitment. Intriguingly, treating the mutated mouse with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) reduced its risk of cancer—an effect observed in some human studies as well.

Smoke signals
To explore what was driving this so-called parainflammation (PI), the team recently collaborated with Dvir Aran of...