The exact function of the protein product of N-myc downstream regulated 1 gene (NDRG1) is unclear. Depending on the tissue type the NDRG1 protein is localized in the cytoplasm, nucleus, mitochondrion or membranes. Moreover, the expression of NDRG1 may be altered by several factors such as hypoxia, heavy metals, DNA damage, hormones, oncogene, and tumor-suppressor genes. A number of studies emphasize the role of NDRG1 in cancerogenesis. Presumably NDRG1 participates in angiogenesis, metastases, and mechanisms leading to anti-cancer drug resistance. This review summarizes current knowledge about the NDRG1 gene and the position of NDRG1 protein in the cellular machinery. The role of NDRG1 in cancer pathogenesis and its possible usefulness as a prognostic factor for patients with cancer is also discussed.