Nitric-oxide-donating NSAIDs as agents for cancer prevention

Trends Mol Med. 2004 Jul;10(7):324-30. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2004.05.004.


Nitric-oxide-donating nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NO-NSAIDs), which consist of an NSAID with an NO-donating moiety covalently attached to it, promise to contribute significantly towards the development of effective chemoprevention strategies against cancer. NO-NSAIDs inhibit the growth of cultured cancer cells 10-6000-fold more potently than their parent NSAIDs and prevent colon cancer in animal tumor models. Clinical data indicate that they are extremely safe. Mechanistically, NO-aspirin, the best-studied NO-NSAID, has pleiotropic effects on cell signaling (it inhibits Wnt signaling, induces nitric oxide synthase and NF-kappaB activation and induces cyclooxygenase-2 expression), and this mechanistic redundancy might be central to its mode of action against cancer. The apparent safety and superior efficacy of NO-NSAIDs makes them promising chemopreventive agents against cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nitric Oxide Donors / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Nitric Oxide Donors