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Clin Cancer Res. 2007 Feb 15;13(4):1076-82.

Nuclear factor-kappaB in development, prevention, and therapy of cancer.

Author information

  • Head and Neck Surgery Branch, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. vanwaesc@nidcd.nih.gov


Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) is a signal transcription factor that has emerged as an important modulator of altered gene programs and malignant phenotype in development of cancer. Major carcinogens and oncogenic viruses induce NF-kappaB activation, and a variety of subsequent oncogenic events contribute to a progressive increase in constitutive NF-kappaB activation as an important common pathway in most forms of cancer. NF-kappaB target genes promote tumor cell proliferation, survival, migration, inflammation, and angiogenesis. Inhibition of NF-kappaB has been found to be an important mechanism of action of steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and natural and synthetic compounds that show therapeutic and preventive activity. Newer agents targeting the proteasome, inhibitor-kappaB kinase, and other upstream kinases involved in NF-kappaB activation have shown anticancer activity in clinical or preclinical studies.

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