Importance of the field: Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) is activated by a variety of cancer-promoting agents. The reciprocal activation between NF-kappaB and inflammatory cytokines makes NF-kappaB important for inflammation-associated cancer development. Both the constitutive and anticancer therapeutic-induced NF-kappaB activation blunts the anticancer activities of the therapy. Elucidating the roles of NF-kappaB in cancer facilitates developing approaches for cancer prevention and therapy.
Areas covered in this review: By searching PubMed, we summarize the progress of studies on NF-kappaB in carcinogenesis and cancer cells' drug resistance in recent 10 years.
What the reader will gain: The mechanisms by which NF-kappaB activation pathways are activated; the roles and mechanisms of NF-kappaB in cell survival and proliferation, and in carcinogenesis and cancer cells' response to therapy; recent development of NF-kappaB-modulating means and their application in cancer prevention and therapy.
Take home message: NF-kappaB is involved in cancer development, modulating NF-kappaB activation pathways has important implications in cancer prevention and therapy. Due to the complexity of NF-kappaB roles in different cancers, careful evaluation of NF-kappaB's in each cancer type is crucial in this regard. More cancer cell-specific NF-kappaB inhibiting means are desired for improving anticancer efficacy and reducing systemic toxicity.