DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a member of phosphatidylinositol-kinase family, is a key protein in mammalian DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair that helps to maintain genomic integrity. DNA-PK also plays a central role in immune cell development and protects telomerase during cellular aging. Epigenetic deregulation due to endogenous and exogenous factors may affect the normal function of DNA-PK, which in turn could impair DNA repair and contribute to genomic instability. Recent studies implicate a role for epigenetics in the regulation of DNA-PK expression in normal and cancer cells, which may impact cancer progression and metastasis as well as provide opportunities for treatment and use of DNA-PK as a novel cancer biomarker. In addition, several small molecules and biological agents have been recently identified that can inhibit DNA-PK function or expression, and thus hold promise for cancer treatments. This review discusses the impact of epigenetic alterations and the expression of DNA-PK in relation to the DNA repair mechanisms with a focus on its differential levels in normal and cancer cells.