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Int J Cancer. 2006 Aug 15;119(4):765-70.

Increasing cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) gene expression in the progression of Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma correlates with that of Bcl-2.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


Previous studies from our laboratory and others have suggested that increased expression of cox-2 is important in the genesis of esophageal adenocarcinoma. In vitro studies suggest that cox-2 regulates expression of the anti-apoptotic protein bcl-2, thus possibly accounting for reduced apoptosis in carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of these 2 genes in the development of Barrett's-associated adenocarcinoma. Histologic sections from endoscopic biopsies or esophagectomy specimens were classified as non-dysplastic Barrett's (n = 30), intraepithelial neoplasia (n = 12) and adenocarcinoma (n = 48). The desired tissue was isolated by laser capture microdissection and expression levels of cox-2 and bcl-2 were measured by quantitative real-time PCR (Taqman). Gene expression levels were compared to samples of the distal esophageal squamous epithelium (n = 55) and reflux-esophagitis (n = 25), without Barrett's or cancer. Expression of both bcl-2 and cox-2 were increased in non-dysplastic Barrett's (p = 0.0077, p = 0.0037), intraepithelial neoplasia (p = 0.0053, p = 0.0220) and adenocarcinoma (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001) compared to squamous epithelium or reflux-esophagitis. Furthermore, there is a significant correlation between these two genes, especially in carcinoma (p < 0.0001).

Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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