Targeting the NF-κB pathway in cancer therapy

Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2013 Oct;22(4):705-46. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2013.06.011. Epub 2013 Aug 6.


Most NF-κB inhibitors target the IKK complex, IκB proteins, or NF-κB transcription factors. The most promising classes of inhibitors include antioxidants, antiinflammatory compounds, natural compounds, statins, proteasome inhibitors, IKKβ inhibitors, biologics, gene therapy, and RNA interference. Targeting NF-κB is limited by intrinsic pathway complexity, cross-talk with other pathways, a lack of biomarkers, poor drug specificity, drug resistance, and difficulty with drug delivery. Future NF-κB targeting will be improved through better understanding of the pathway, more specific inhibitors, and multimodality therapies.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Chemoresistance; IKK inhibitor; NF-κB inhibitor; Radioresistance; Targeting NF-κB.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • NF-kappa B