Review Article

NF-κB pathway in colitis-associated cancers

Emilie Viennois, Fengyuan Chen, Didier Merlin


Colitis-associated cancer is the subtype of colorectal cancer that is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, and is the third leading cause of cancer death in developed countries. Of the signaling pathways involved in colonic inflammation, that triggered by NF-κB plays a key role. A relationship between inflammation and cancer is now well documented. Moreover, the association between NF-κB activity and cancer development has been intensively investigated. The present review focuses on the activity of the NF-κB signaling pathway in colitis-associated carcinogenesis. The pivotal roles played by this pathway in apoptosis, tumor promotion, and tumor maintenance strongly suggest that inhibitors of the pathway would be powerful anti-cancer agents.