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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jun 15;10(12 Pt 2):4266s-4269s.

Cyclooxygenase as a target in lung cancer.

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Department of Medicine and Cancer Biology, The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


Preclinical studies suggest that cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 may be involved in the molecular pathogenesis of some types of lung cancer. Most of the available studies point to its involvement in non-small cell lung cancer. Survival of patients with non-small cell lung cancer expressing high levels of COX-2 is markedly reduced. Treatment of humans with the selective COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib augments the antitumor effects of chemotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. COX-2 has been shown to regulate some aspects of tumor-associated angiogenesis. Most of the results we have published point to effects on the regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor. However, prostaglandins derived from COX-2 affect other signaling pathways as well, such as the epidermal growth factor and its receptor. Others have recently shown that non-small cell lung cancer exhibits a COX-2 downstream enzyme expression pattern that is altered in lung tumor cells and tumor-supplying vessels. Therefore, COX-2 and prostaglandins may have a major impact on lung tumor progression and tumor-associated inflammation. Clinical trials currently underway are exploring the potential of targeting COX-2 in lung cancer.

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