Despite considerable efforts in understanding the cellular mechanisms contributing to pancreatic cancer, the prognosis of this malignant disease is still extremely poor. Although pancreatic cancer is the fifth common cause of cancer death in Western countries, current options in treatment enable a 5-yr survival rate for all stages of less than 5%. In the face fo the fatal outcome, new approaches to the therapy have been established. Based on its role in malignant transformation, apoptosis, and cell proliferation, the transcription factor NF-kappaB/Rel has gained the attention of many laboratories. This review provides basic information for the understanding of the biology of NF-kappaB and aims at presenting experimental data illustrating the involvement of NF-kappaB/Rel in pancreatic cancer.