Nuclear factor-kappaB: the enemy within

Cancer Cell. 2004 Sep;6(3):203-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2004.09.003.


Numerous lines of investigation suggest that nuclear factor NF-kappaB, a proinflammatory transcription factor, could promote tumorigenesis. Various inflammatory agents, carcinogens, tumor promoters, and the tumor microenvironment activate NF-kappaB. NF-kappaB proteins themselves and proteins regulated by it have been linked to cellular transformation, proliferation, apoptosis suppression, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Constitutively activated NF-kappaB is common in wide variety of tumors. Furthermore, there exists genetic evidence that NF-kappaB mediates tumorigenesis. Thus, suppression of NF-kappaB activation should be effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • NF-kappa B / physiology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Oncogenes


  • NF-kappa B