Pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and progression of colorectal cancer

Cancer Lett. 2008 Aug 28;267(2):197-203. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 Apr 11.


Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for several gastrointestinal malignancies, including esophageal, gastric, hepatic, pancreatic and colorectal cancer. It has long been known that long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the relative risk of developing colorectal cancer. NSAIDs exert their anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects primarily by inhibiting activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. Cyclooxygenase enzymes catalyze the conversion of arachidonic acid into prostanoids, including prostaglandins (PGs) and thromboxanes (TXs). Emerging evidence demonstrates that prostaglandins play an important role in inflammation and cancer. In this review, we highlight recent breakthroughs in our understanding of the roles of the different prostaglandins in colorectal cancer (CRC) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These findings may provide a rationale for the development of new anti-inflammatory therapeutic approaches to cancer prevention and/or treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colitis / complications*
  • Colitis / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism*


  • Prostaglandins