Tumor cells frequently exhibit de novo expression of Fas ligand (FasL/CD95L). Coupled with resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis, FasL expression enables many cancers to deliver a pre-emptive strike or 'counterattack' against the immune system. New studies also indicate that FasL expression on tumor cells could confer a double advantage to these cells by stimulating their own proliferation. However, pro-inflammatory effects of FasL have also been observed. New findings are beginning to reconcile the paradoxical effects of FasL, with the clinical significance of the Fas counterattack only beginning to emerge.