Increased cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) expression occurs frequently in precursor lesions of human adenocarcinoma of the lung

Lung Cancer. 2000 Nov;30(2):73-81. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5002(00)00132-x.


A low incidence of lung carcinoma has been reported in cases of prolonged use of aspirin. Cyclooxygenase (COX) 2 expression is frequently seen in adenocarcinoma of the lung, but COX-2 expression in atypical adenomatous hyperplasia (AAH), a possible precursor lesion of adenocarcinoma of the lung, is not known. COX-2 expression was immunohistochemically evaluated in a cohort of 20 cuboidal cell hyperplasias (CCH), 81 atypical adenomatous hyperplasias (AAH), 18 bronchioloalveolar carcinomas (BAC), and 88 invasive adenocarcinomas (I-Ad). The relationship between COX-2 expression and clinicopathologic factors and survival was examined. COX-2 overexpression was detected in over 80% of CCH, AAH, BAC, and I-Ad. However, overexpression was diffuse in AAH (71.6%) and BAC (66.7%). No relationship was found between COX-2 expression and clinicopathological factors or survival. COX-2 expression was most frequently detected in AAH. These findings, taken with previous reports that treatment with COX-2 inhibitor suppresses human colon carcinogenesis, suggest that inhibition of COX-2 may reduce the incidence of human adenocarcinoma of the lung.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / enzymology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia / enzymology
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes / biosynthesis*
  • Lung / enzymology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / enzymology
  • Prognosis
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / biosynthesis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases