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Cancer Biol Ther. 2004 Dec;3(12):1214-6. Epub 2004 Dec 15.

NF-kappaB: key mediator of inflammation-associated cancer.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Abramson Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors, well-known for regulating immune and inflammatory responses, has recently been identified as a molecular link between chronic inflammation and cancer. Using distinct models of inflammation-associated cancer, three recent reports now show the importance of NF-kappa B in promoting cancer progression during inflammation (Greten et al., Cell 2004, 118:285-96; Luo et al., Cancer Cell 2004, 6:297-305, Pikarsky et al., Nature 2004, 431:461-6). Results from these studies suggest that NF-kappa B exerts its oncogenic effects in both tumor cells and in the tumor microenvironment, promoting the survival of premalignant epithelial cells while also stimulating release of pro-inflammatory mediators from activated macrophages that promote tumor growth.

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