Polymorphisms in prostaglandin synthase 2/cyclooxygenase 2 (PTGS2/COX2) and risk of colorectal cancer

Br J Cancer. 2004 Jul 19;91(2):339-43. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601906.


Inflammation plays a key role in the development of colorectal cancers. We have investigated the relationship between PTGS2 (COX2) polymorphisms and colorectal cancer risk in a hospital based case-control study. We recruited 292 patients with colorectal cancer and 274 controls from new patients admitted to Bellvitge Hospital, Barcelona, Spain, from 1996 to 1998. Subjects responded to a questionnaire on risk factors. Genotypes of the eight more frequent polymorphisms of PTGS2 were determined. Two polymorphisms are located in the promoter sequence, one in the untranslated region of exon 1, one in exon 3, one in intron 5, two in the untranslated region of exon 10, and one downstream of the last polyadenylation (poly-A) signal. Associations were analysed with logistic regression models assuming a dominant effect for rare variants to increase statistical power. An association was detected between colorectal cancer and a polymorphism in the untranslated region of exon 10 of PTGS2, with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.17-5.32, P=0.01. A nearby polymorphism downstream of the last poly-A signal also showed a nonsignificant increase in risk (OR 2.17, 95% CI 0.99-4.78, P=0.05). Analysis of haplotypes confirmed that individuals with these variants were at increased risk of colorectal cancer (OR compared to the most frequent haplotype: 2.17, 95% CI 0.97-4.84, P=0.06) Interactions between PTGS2 genotype and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of colorectal cancer were also explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology


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