Role of Cytokines in Genesis, Progression and Prognosis of Cervical Cancer


Cytokine research is currently at the forefront in cancer research. Deciphering the functions of these multiplesmall molecules, discovered within the cell and in intercellular spaces, with their abundance and pleotrophism,was initially a great challenge. Advances in analytical chemistry and molecular biology have made it possible tounravel the pathophysiological functions of these polypeptides/proteins which are called interleukins, chemokines,monokines, lymphokines and growth factors. With more than 5 million women contracting cervical cancerevery year this cancer is a major cause of mortality and morbidity the world over, particularly in the developingcountries. In more than 95% of cases it is associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) infection which ispersistent, particularly in those with a defective immune system. Although preventable, the mere magnitudeof prevalence of HPV in the world population makes it a dominating current health hazard. The discoveryof cytokine dysregulation in cervical cancer has spurted investigation into the possibility of using them asbiomarkers in the early diagnosis of cases at high risk of developing cancer. Their critical role in carcinogenesisand progression of cervical cancer is now being revealed to a great extent. From diagnostics to prognosis, andnow with a possible role in therapeutics and prevention of cervical cancer, the cytokines are being evaluated inall anticancer approaches. This review endeavours to capture the essence of the astonishing journey of cytokineresearch in cervical neoplasia.