Fatty acid synthase (FASN) is a key enzyme involved in neoplastic lipogenesis. Overexpression of FASN is common in many cancers, and accumulating evidence suggests that it is a metabolic oncogene with an important role in tumor growth and survival, making it an attractive target for cancer therapy. Early small-molecule FASN inhibitors such as cerulenin, C75 and orlistat have been shown to induce apoptosis in several cancer cell lines and to induce tumor growth delay in several cancer xenograft models but their mechanism is still not well understood. These molecules suffer from pharmacological limitations and weight loss as a side effect that prevent their development as systemic drugs. Several potent inhibitors have recently been reported that may help to unravel and exploit the full potential of FASN as a target for cancer therapy in the near future. Furthermore, novel sources of FASN inhibitors, such as green tea and dietary soy, make both dietary manipulation and chemoprevention potential alternative modes of therapy in the future.