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Clin Cancer Res. 1999 May;5(5):1001-5.

Prognostic significance of elevated cyclooxygenase 2 expression in primary, resected lung adenocarcinomas.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital, Nagoya, Japan.


Recently, we demonstrated that elevated expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is frequently seen in a specific type of lung cancer, i.e., adenocarcinoma, and is possibly associated with its invasion and metastasis. Here, the prognostic significance of elevated COX-2 expression was evaluated in a cohort of 130 adenocarcinoma patients who had consecutively undergone potentially curative resections. Immunohistological examination showed the presence of tumor cells with markedly increased COX-2 immunoreactivity in 93 of 130 (72%) cases. No relationship was found between the increase in COX-2 expression and clinical outcomes when the entire cohort was considered (P = 0.099). Reasoning that the influence of the increase in COX-2 expression may have been obscured by the clinical and molecular pathogenetic complexities in cases with an advanced disease, we also separately analyzed the prognostic significance of increased COX-2 expression after stratification according to the disease stage. A significant relationship between elevated COX-2 expression and shortened patient survival was observed only in a cohort of patients with stage I disease (P = 0.034). These findings suggest that an increase in COX-2 expression may be clinically significant for the prognosis of patients undergoing surgical resection of early-stage adenocarcinomas and, thus, warrant further conclusive studies involving a larger cohort.

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