Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Cancer. 2004 Jan 26;90(2):423-9.

COX-2 expression is associated with an aggressive phenotype in ductal carcinoma in situ.

Author information

Academic Department of Surgery, University Hospital of South Manchester, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK.


Cyclooxygenase type-2 (COX-2) is overexpressed in malignant tumours including breast cancers, though the mechanism of upregulation is unclear. This study aimed to determine COX-2 expression in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in comparison to invasive breast cancer (IBC) and normal breast, and also to investigate the relationship of COX-2 expression with HER-2 expression, oestrogen receptor (ER), tumour grade and cellular proliferation (Ki67) in DCIS. Cyclooxygenase type-2, HER-2, ER and Ki67 expression were determined by immunohistochemistry on paraffin tissue sections of DCIS (n=187), IBC (n=65) and normal breast reduction tissue (n=60). Cyclooxygenase type-2 expression in DCIS (67%, P<0.001) and IBC (63%, P<0.001) was significantly greater than in normal breast (23%). There was no difference in COX-2 expression level between DCIS and IBC (P=0.87) or between normal breast from reduction mammoplasty tissue and normal breast ducts around DCIS (22%, P=0.29). In DCIS, COX-2 expression was associated with higher cellular proliferation rates (P<0.0001), nuclear grade (P=0.003), with ER negativity (P=0.003) and with HER-2 positivity (P<0.0001). Cyclooxygenase type-2 expression is upregulated in in situ breast cancer and is associated with surrogate markers of an aggressive DCIS phenotype including nonoestrogen-regulated signalling pathways. Cyclooxygenase type-2 inhibition may potentially prevent the development of ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center