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Inflammatory response in gastrointestinal cancers: Overview of six transmembrane epithelial antigens of the prostate in pathophysiology and clinical implications.

Chronic inflammation is known to increase the risk of gastrointestinal cancers (GICs), the common solid tumors worldwide. Precancerous lesions, such as chronic atrophic inflammation and ulcers, are related to inflammatory responses in vivo and likely to occur in hyperplasia and tumorigenesis. Unfortunately, due to the lack of effective therapeutic targets, the prognosis of patients with GICs is still unsatisfactory. Interestingly, it is found that six transmembrane epithelial antigens of the prostate (STEAPs), a group of metal reductases, are significantly associated with the progression of malignancies, playing a crucial role in systemic metabolic homeostasis and inflammatory responses. The structure and functions of STEAPs suggest that they are closely related to intracellular oxidative stress, responding to inflammatory reactions. Under the imbalance status of abnormal oxidative stress, STEAP members are involved in cell transformation and the development of GICs by inhibiting or activating inflammatory process. This review focuses on STEAPs in GICs along with exploring their potential molecular regulatory mechanisms, with an aim to provide a theoretical basis for diagnosis and treatment strategies for patients suffering from these types of cancers.

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