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Drug Metabol Drug Interact. 2000;17(1-4):109-57.

The role of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase in cancer chemoprevention.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, and University of Illinois Cancer Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60612, USA.


The involvement of prostaglandins (PGs) and other eicosanoids in the development of human cancer has been known for over two decades. Importantly, an increase in PG synthesis may influence tumor growth in human beings and experimental animals, and numerous studies have illustrated the effect of PG synthesis on carcinogen metabolism, tumor cell proliferation and metastatic potential. PGs produced by cyclooxygenases (COXs) are represented by a large series of compounds that mainly enhance cancer development and progression, acting as carcinogens or tumor promoters, with profound effects on carcinogenesis. Further investigations suggest that arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites derived from lipoxygenase (LOX) pathways play an important role in growth-related signal transduction, implying that intervention through these pathways should be useful for arresting cancer progression. We discuss here the implications of COX and LOX in colon, pancreatic, breast, prostate, lung, skin, urinary bladder and liver cancers. Select inhibitors of COX and LOX are described, including nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), selective COX-2 inhibitors, curcumin, tea, silymarin and resveratrol, as well as a method useful for evaluating inhibitors of COX. Although a substantial amount of additional work is required to yield a better understanding of the role of COX and LOX in cancer chemoprevention, it is clear that beneficial therapeutic effects can be realized through drug-mediated modulation of these metabolic pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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