The cytotoxicity of chemotherapeutic agents is attributed to apoptosis. Acquired resistance to the effects of chemotherapy has emerged as a significant impediment to effective cancer therapy. One feature that cytotoxic treatments of cancer have in common is their activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), which regulates cell survival. NF-kappaB activation suppresses the apoptotic potential of chemotherapeutic agents and contributes to resistance. What evidence is there that inhibitors of NF-kappaB might promote apoptosis in cancer cells and can NF-kappaB inhibitors be used to overcome resistance to chemotherapeutic agents?