Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are recently identified proteins that form a versatile family of ion channels, the majority of which are calcium permeable and exhibit complex regulatory patterns with sensitivity to multiple environmental factors. While this sensitivity has captured early attention, leading to recognition of TRP channels as environmental and chemical sensors, many later studies concentrated on the regulation of intracellular calcium by TRP channels. Due to mutations, dysregulation of ion channel gating or expression levels, normal spatiotemporal patterns of local Ca(2+) distribution become distorted. This causes deregulation of downstream effectors sensitive to changes in Ca(2+) homeostasis that, in turn, promotes pathophysiological cancer hallmarks, such as enhanced survival, proliferation and invasion. These observations give rise to the appreciation of the important contributions that TRP channels make to many cellular processes controlling cell fate and positioning these channels as important players in cancer regulation. This review discusses the accumulated scientific knowledge focused on TRP channel involvement in regulation of cell fate in various transformed tissues.