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Cancers (Basel). 2011 Apr 28;3(2):2214-22. doi: 10.3390/cancers3022214.

Cell Autonomous and Non-Autonomous Functions of IKKβ and NF-κB during the Pathogenesis of Gastrointestinal Tumors.

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Institute of Molecular Immunology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Ismaninger Str. 22, Munich 81675, Germany.


Genetic studies describing a link between cancer and inflammation have increased recently. Activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and its effector pathways has been proposed to be the missing link between these two processes. NF-κB is persistently activated in several types of tumors. However, NF-κB has a distinct role in cancer cells and in inflammatory cells. While in tumor cells NF-κB controls cell survival, in inflammatory cells NF-κB activates genes that encode pro-inflammatory cytokines which further act in a paracrine manner within the tumor microenvironment to contribute to tumorigenesis. Inactivation of NF-κB can also reduce chemoresistance and radioresistance of cancer cells. Therefore, specific NF-κB inhibition in combination with cytotoxic drugs and/or irradiation represents a very promising strategy for cancer therapy.

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