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The relationship between cancer and inflammation is a complex but intimate one. Decades of work has shown to us that cancer progression is influenced by a multitude of factors, including genetic, environmental, and immunological factors. We often overlook that cancer progression is also a pathological consequence of a dysregulated inflammatory control in the body. A current emerging topic in cancer research is the role of inflammasomes in carcinogenesis. The inflammasome is a multicomplex protein platform that when activated results in the release of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β. There is increasing evidence suggesting that IL-1β plays a pivotal role in cancer progression. This short review proposes the possibility of using IL-1β as a potential cancer progression biomarker and discusses the use of saliva as a model biological fluid for measuring physiological IL-1β levels in the body.
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