Inflammation meets cancer, with NF-κB as the matchmaker

Nat Immunol. 2011 Jul 19;12(8):715-23. doi: 10.1038/ni.2060.


Inflammation is a fundamental protective response that sometimes goes awry and becomes a major cofactor in the pathogenesis of many chronic human diseases, including cancer. Here we review the evolutionary relationship and opposing functions of the transcription factor NF-κB in inflammation and cancer. Although it seems to fulfill a distinctly tumor-promoting role in many types of cancer, NF-κB has a confounding role in certain tumors. Understanding the activity and function of NF-κB in the context of tumorigenesis is critical for its successful taming, an important challenge for modern cancer biology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • NF-kappa B / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*


  • NF-kappa B