NF-κB inhibition: A double-edged sword in cancer?

Eli Pikarsky*, Yinon Ben-Neriah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Several recent studies of mouse models of cancer have provided direct genetic evidence for the critical role of NF-κB in carcinogenesis. While it has long been known that NF-κB is a key mediator of chemotherapy resistance, it is now clear that the transcription factor also has a major role in tumour development, particularly at its earlier phases. However, the role of NF-κB in tumourigenesis is more complex than anticipated, as in some models NF-κB inhibition blocks, whereas in others it facilitates, tumour development. In this paper we review current knowledge and suggest a general hypothesis that attempts to resolve this apparent paradox. Further cancer model studies should help to clarify this issue, complementing the intensive drug development effort of the pharmaceutical industry around NF-κB.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)779-784
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work in the laboratories of E.P. and Y.B.N. is supported by grants from Prostate Cancer Foundation Israel-Center of Excellence, the Israel Cancer Research Foundation, the Israel Science Foundation and the Association for international Cancer Research. We thank Drs. Rinnat Porat and Ilan Stein for critical discussions.


  • Animal models
  • Cancer
  • Carcinogens
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • IKK
  • Inflammation
  • IκB
  • NF-κB
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • TNF


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