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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank E. Pikarsky, I. Alkalay-Snir and A. Pribluda for comments and discussions. Supported by the Israel Science Foundation, Israel Cancer Research Fund, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, the German-Israeli Foundation, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, the US National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society.