Cellular senescence is a program of irreversible cell cycle arrest that cells undergo in response to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli including progressive shortening of telomeres, changes in telomeric structure or other forms of genotoxic and non-genotoxic stress. The role of nuclear factor-κB in cellular senescence is controversial, as it has been associated with both proliferation and tumour progression, and also with growth arrest and ageing. This research perspective focuses on the evidence for a functional relationship between NF-κB and senescence, and how disruption of the NF-κB pathway can lead to its bypass.