University of Oulu

Mikkola, T., Almahmoudi, R., Salo, T. et al. Variable roles of interleukin-17F in different cancers. BMC Cancer 22, 54 (2022).

Variable roles of interleukin-17F in different cancers

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Author: Mikkola, Tiina1,2; Almahmoudi, Rabeia1,2; Salo, Tuula1,2,3,4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki, Clinicum, Biomedicum Helsinki 1, C223b, P.O. Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8), 00014, Helsinki, Finland
2Translational Immunology Research Programme (TRIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5HUS, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-02


Background: Interleukin (IL)-17 family is a group of six cytokines that plays a central role in inflammatory processes and participates in cancer progression. Interleukin-17A has been shown to have mainly a protumorigenic role, but the other members of the IL-17 family, including IL-17F, have received less attention.

Methods: We applied systematic review guidelines to study the role of IL-17F, protein and mRNA expression, polymorphisms, and functions, in cancer. We carried out a systematic search in PubMed, Ovid Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane libraries, yielding 79 articles that met the inclusion criteria.

Results: The findings indicated that IL-17F has both anti- and protumorigenic roles, which depend on cancer type and the molecular form and location of IL-17F. As an example, the presence of IL-17F protein in tumor tissue and patient serum has a protective role in oral and pancreatic cancers, whereas it is protumorigenic in prostate and bladder cancers. These effects are proposed to be based on multiple mechanisms, such as inhibition of angiogenesis, vasculogenic mimicry and cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and aggravating the inflammatory process. No solid evidence emerged for the correlation between IL-17F polymorphisms and cancer incidence or patients’ prognosis.

Conclusions: IL-17F is a multifaceted cytokine. There is a clear demand for more well-designed studies of IL-17F to elucidate its molecular mechanisms in different types of cancer. The studies presented in this article examined a variety of different designs, study populations and primary/secondary outcomes, which unfortunately reduces the value of direct interstudy comparisons.

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Series: BMC cancer
ISSN: 1471-2407
ISSN-E: 1471-2407
ISSN-L: 1471-2407
Volume: 22
Issue: 1
Article number: 54
DOI: 10.1186/s12885-021-08969-0
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3122 Cancers
Funding: The authors acknowledge the funders of this study: the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research, University of Helsinki; the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation; the Cancer Society of Finland; the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation; the Oulu University Hospital MRC grant; the Helsinki University Central Hospital research funds; and the Doctoral Programme of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki. The funders took no part in the design or performance of the study. Funding consists of academic grants without any engagements considering the research project.
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