Review article: cyclooxygenase--a target for colon cancer prevention

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Apr;14 Suppl 1:64-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2000.014s1064.x.


Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, which are known to inhibit cyclooxygenase activity, reduces the relative risk of colorectal cancer in humans by 40-50%. Animal and human studies have shown a 50-80% reduction in tumour multiplicity following treatment with a variety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Two isoforms of cyclooxygenase have been described, cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). In 85% of colorectal adenocarcinomas taken from humans. COX-2 levels are 2-50-fold higher than levels in adjacent normal intestinal mucosa, while COX-1 levels are unchanged. These observations raise the question: Does COX-1 or COX-2 provide a useful target for prevention or treatment of colorectal cancer?

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases