Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS-2) each have an important role in angiogenesis. The expression of these genes was investigated in human prostate cancer by immunohistochemistry, the expression of COX-1 and COX-2 being confirmed by mRNA analysis. Prostate cancer specimens from 12 patients were compared to control prostates from 13 patients operated on for bladder carcinoma. The intensity of COX-2 and NOS-2 immunostaining was significantly stronger in prostate cancer cells than in the non-malignant glandular epithelium of the control prostates. COX-2 and NOS-2 were clearly also expressed in the lesions of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) in control prostates. COX-2 was detected in the muscle fibres of the hyperplastic stroma of some control prostates. No significant difference was detected in COX-1 expression between control and cancer prostates. These results indicate that the expression of COX-2 and NOS-2 is elevated in prostatic adenocarcinoma and in PIN.