Cyclooxygenase 2: A Molecular Target for Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2003 Feb;24(2):96-102. doi: 10.1016/S0165-6147(02)00043-3.

Abstract

Cyclooxygenase2 (COX-2), an inducible prostaglandin G/H synthase, is overexpressed in several human cancers. Here, the potential utility of selective COX-2 inhibitors in the prevention and treatment of cancer is considered. The mechanisms by which COX-2 levels increase in cancers, key data that indicate a causal link between increased COX-2 activity and tumorigenesis, and possible mechanisms of action of COX-2 are discussed. In a proof-of-principle clinical trial, treatment with the selective COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib reduced the number of colorectal polyps in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. Selective COX-2 inhibitors appear to be sufficiently safe to permit large-scale clinical testing and numerous clinical trials are currently under way to determine whether selective inhibitors of COX-2 are effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Isoenzymes / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / biosynthesis

Substances

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