IL-1 cytokines constitute a family of biologically active proteins with pleiotropic function especially in immunity. Both protective as well as deleterious properties of individual IL-1 family cytokines in tumor biology have been described. The function of IL-1-family cytokines depends on the producing source, the present (inflammatory) microenvironment and N-terminal proteolytical processing. Each of these determinants is shaped by different modes of cell death. Here we summarize the properties of IL-1 family cytokines in tumor biology, and how they are modulated by cell death.