Cyclooxygenase inhibition in cancer prevention and treatment

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Dec;4(12):2193-204. doi: 10.1517/14656566.4.12.2193.


Several lines of evidence suggest that the cyclooxygenase enzymes (specifically COX-2) might be an important molecular target for the intervention of cancer at both early and late stages of some cancers, providing an opportunity for both cancer prevention and therapy. COX-2 is overexpressed during carcinogenesis, and appears to have a role in both tumour initiation and promotion and is amenable to intervention. This review discusses the importance of COX modulation via non-specific, as well as COX-2 specific COX inhibitors (NSAIDs and COX-2 selective inhibitors [COXIB]). A brief discussion on the pharmacoeconomic considerations of NSAID and COXIB use and safety issues that have recently been the focus of debate, will be presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes / biosynthesis
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / biosynthesis
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics


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