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Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15;66(20):9794-7.

Targeting prostaglandin E EP receptors to inhibit metastasis.

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Department of Pathology and Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


It is well established that high cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression contributes to the aggressive behavior of breast and other malignancies. Due to concerns regarding the safety of long-term use of COX-2 inhibitors as well as a desire to seek more effective alternatives to prevent and treat metastatic disease, we tested the hypothesis that inhibition of downstream signaling by the COX-2 product prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) would be as effective as inhibiting global prostaglandin synthesis. PGE(2) acts through four G-protein-coupled receptors designated EP1-4. Here, we summarize data from many laboratories regarding the role of individual E-series of prostaglandin (EP) receptors on cancer behavior and we discuss our own recent findings that antagonists of the PGE receptor subtype 4, EP4, inhibit experimental metastasis in a murine model of hormone-resistant, metastatic breast cancer. These initial results indicate that selective targeting of individual EP receptors should be investigated as an approach to exploit the high COX-2 activity in many epithelial malignancies.

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