Expression of cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 in human breast cancer

Surg Today. 2003;33(11):805-11. doi: 10.1007/s00595-003-2606-3.


Purpose: We investigated the expression of cyclooxygenase (Cox-1 and Cox-2) in mammary tissues from patients with breast cancer.

Methods: We used reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry.

Results: The cancer cells showed very weak expression of Cox-1, but strong expression of immunoreactive Cox-2. In contrast, immunoreactive Cox-2 was very weak in all of the benign mammary tumors examined, including fibroadenoma (FA) and mastopathy (MP). Immunoreactive Cox-1 was also very weak in these benign tumors. The extent and intensity of immunoreactive Cox-2 polypeptides was significantly greater in the cancer cells than in the FA cells or MP cells. RT-PCR analysis showed enhanced expression of Cox-2, but not Cox-1 in breast cancer tissue, and faint expression of Cox-2 in benign tissue.

Conclusions: These results demonstrated that human breast cancer cells generated Cox-2, indicating that Cox-2 might play an important role in the proliferation of breast cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Culture Techniques
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoenzymes / analysis*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / analysis*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases