Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Cancer. 2007 Dec 3;97(11):1523-31. Epub 2007 Oct 30.

COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib prevents chronic morphine-induced promotion of angiogenesis, tumour growth, metastasis and mortality, without compromising analgesia.

Author information

  • 11Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, the Vascular Biology Center, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Morphine and its congener opioids are the main therapy for severe pain in cancer. However, chronic morphine treatment stimulates angiogenesis and tumour growth in mice. We examined if celecoxib (a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor) prevents morphine-induced tumour growth without compromising analgesia. The effect of chronic treatment with celecoxib (by gavage) and/or morphine (subcutaneously), or PBS on tumour prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), COX-2, angiogenesis, tumour growth, metastasis, pain behaviour and survival was determined in a highly invasive SCK breast cancer model in A/J mice. Two weeks of chronic morphine treatment at clinically relevant doses stimulates COX-2 and PGE(2) (4.5-fold compared to vehicle alone) and angiogenesis in breast tumours in mice. This is accompanied by increased tumour weight ( approximately 35%) and increased metastasis and reduced survival. Co-administration of celecoxib prevents these morphine-induced effects. In addition, morphine and celecoxib together provided better analgesia than either agent alone. Celecoxib prevents morphine-induced stimulation of COX-2, PGE(2), angiogenesis, tumour growth, metastasis and mortality without compromising analgesia in a murine breast cancer model. In fact, the combination provided significantly better analgesia than with morphine or celecoxib alone. Clinical trials of this combination for analgesia in chronic and severe pain in cancer are warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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