Elevated expression of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 has been found in several human cancers, including prostate adenocarcinoma. To evaluate the potential prognostic role of COX-2 in prostate cancer, we assessed the expression of COX-2 in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer samples employing immunohistochemistry. COX-2 was over-expressed in 15 out of 18 (83%) prostate cancer samples whereas it was detected in only 22% (4 of 18) paired benign tissues. The intensity of immunostaining correlated with the tumor grading. In addition, COX-2 was expressed in 7 of the 22 (32%) BPH samples examined. The significance a COX-2 expression in the BPH samples is not known at present. This data suggest that COX-2 is over-expressed in prostate cancer and COX-2 inhibitors may be useful in combination chemotherapy or chemoprevention for prostate cancer.