Accumulating evidence suggests that dysregulation of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1)–nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway resulting in constitutively active Nrf2 and increased expression of cytoprotective Nrf2 target genes, has a pivotal role in cancer. Cancer cells are able to hijack the Keap1–Nrf2 system via multiple mechanisms leading to enhanced chemo- and radio-resistance and proliferation via metabolic reprogramming as well as inhibition of apoptosis. In this mini-review, we will describe the mechanisms leading to increased Nrf2 activity in cancer with a focus on the information achieved from large-scale multi-omics projects across various cancer types.

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