Collective evidence suggests that cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) plays a role in prostate cancer risk. Cyclooxygenase 2 is the major enzyme that converts arachidonic acid to prostaglandins, which are potent mediators of inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit the enzymatic activity of COX2 and long-term use of NSAIDs appears to modestly lower the risk of prostate cancer. We investigated whether common genetic variation in COX2 influences the risk of advanced prostate cancer. Nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in COX2 were genotyped among 1012 men in our case-control study of advanced prostate cancer. Gene-environment interactions between COX2 polymorphisms and NSAID use were also evaluated. Information on NSAID use was obtained by questionnaire. Three SNPs demonstrated nominally statistically significant associations with prostate cancer risk, with the most compelling polymorphism (rs2745557) associated with a lower risk of disease (odds ratio (OR) GC vs GG=0.64; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49-0.84; P=0.002). We estimated through permutation analysis that a similarly strong result would occur by chance 2.7% of the time. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use was associated with a lower risk of disease in comparison to no use (OR=0.67; 95% CI: 0.52-0.87). No significant statistical interaction between NSAID use and rs2745557 was observed (P=0.12). Our findings suggest that variation in COX2 is associated with prostate cancer risk.