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Commentary

What can rheumatologists learn from translational cancer therapy?

Jonathan P Sherlock123, Andrew D Filer1, John D Isaacs4 and Christopher D Buckley12*

Author Affiliations

1 Rheumatology Research Group, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

2 Centre for Translational Inflammation Research, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

3 Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7HE, UK

4 Musculoskeletal Research Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, NE2 4HH, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:114  doi:10.1186/ar4203

Published: 1 May 2013

Abstract

It is well established that an intimate connection exists between inflammation and neoplasia. Indeed, particular chronic infections and autoimmune processes giving rise to prolonged site-specific inflammation are known to increase the probability of the development of specific cancers. Molecular characterisation of these processes has revealed profound similarities in the specific molecules involved in persistence of inflammation and in both the primary induction of neoplastic processes and in specification of the preferred anatomic sites of metastatic spread. The therapeutic importance of these findings is underscored by the remarkable success in the treatment of autoimmune pathology using medications initially developed for use in oncology and this arena is one of considerable therapeutic promise for rheumatologists.