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Lancet Oncol. 2001 Sep;2(9):544-51.

Cyclo-oxygenase 2: a pharmacological target for the prevention of cancer.

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Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Strang Cancer Prevention Center, New York, USA.


Understanding the mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis provides insights that are necessary for the development of therapeutic strategies to prevent cancer. Chemoprevention--the use of drugs or natural substances to inhibit carcinogenesis - is an important and rapidly evolving aspect of cancer research. We discuss evidence that cyclooxygenase 2 (COX 2), an inducible form of the enzyme, is a potential pharmacological target to prevent cancer. Key data implicating a causal relation between increased activity of COX 2 and carcinogenesis and possible mechanisms of action of COX 2 in this context are covered. Importantly, selective COX 2 inhibitors appear to be safe enough in human beings to allow large-scale clinical testing in healthy people. Several chemoprevention trials using selective COX 2 inhibitors are underway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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