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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 20;26(6):848-55. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.13.8081.

Eicosanoid modulation in advanced lung cancer: cyclooxygenase-2 expression is a positive predictive factor for celecoxib + chemotherapy--Cancer and Leukemia Group B Trial 30203.

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  • 1University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, Division of Hematology/Oncology (111H), 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1595, USA.



Increased expression of eicosanoids in cancer has been associated with adverse prognosis. We performed a randomized phase II trial to test the hypothesis that inhibitors of two eicosanoid pathways (cyclooxygenase-2 [COX-2], celecoxib and 5-lipoxygenase [5-LOX], zileuton) added to chemotherapy would improve outcome in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Patients with advanced NSCLC, a performance status of 0 to 2, and no prior therapy were eligible. All patients received carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) 5.5 mg/mL x min day 1 + gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2)) days 1 and 8. Patients were randomly assigned to: (a) zileuton 600 mg PO qid, (b) celecoxib 400 mg PO bid, or (c) celecoxib and zileuton at the same doses. Immunohistochemical staining for COX-2 and 5-LOX was performed without knowledge of outcomes.


One hundred forty patients were entered and 134 were eligible and treated. There was no survival difference between the arms. COX-2 expression was a negative prognostic marker for overall survival (OS; hazard ratio [HR] = 2.51, P = .019 for index >or= 4; HR = 4.16, P = .005 for index = 9) for patients not receiving celecoxib. Patients with increased COX-2 expression (index >or= 4), receiving celecoxib had better survival than did COX-2-expressing patients not receiving drug (HR = .342, P = .005 for OS; HR = .294, P = .002 for failure-free survival). Multivariate analysis confirmed the interaction of COX-2 and celecoxib on survival. 5-LOX expression was neither prognostic nor predictive.


This study failed to demonstrate the value of dual eicosanoid inhibition or benefit from either agent alone in addition to chemotherapy. However, a prospectively defined subset analysis suggests an advantage for celecoxib and chemotherapy for patients with moderate to high COX-2 expression.

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