Objective: To investigate cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA expression in curatively resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to determine its association with prognosis.
Summary background data: Lung cancer is one of the most common malignancies in the world. Despite improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of NSCLC, the 5-year survival rate remains less than 15%. Identification of prognostic predictors based on molecular alterations could lead to additional diagnostic tools and eventually to more effective therapeutic options. Overexpression of COX-2 has been reported in several human malignancies, including lung cancer, but the prognostic importance of this overexpression has not been elucidated.
Methods: COX-2 mRNA expression was analyzed using a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (Taqman) method in surgically resected tumor specimens from 89 patients with curatively resected NSCLC.
Results: COX-2 mRNA was detectable in all 89 (100%) tumor tissues. High COX-2 expression in tumors was significantly associated with inferior survival. Multivariate analysis showed that high COX-2 expression is an independent predictor of worse survival in patients with NSCLC.
Conclusions: High COX-2 mRNA expression is an important biomarker for biologically aggressive disease in NSCLC and might be helpful in identifying patients who would benefit from additional therapies for controlling their disease.