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Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors and Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in most developed nations. The most common type of lung cancer is of non-small cell histology, representing approximately 80% of the total. Despite aggressive treatments in early stages and improvement of polychemotherapy outcomes in advanced disease, the five years survival rate for lung cancer remains under 15%. Fortunately, our improved knowledge of tumor biology and mechanisms of oncogenesis suggests several new potential targets for clinical research in cancer therapy. A substantial body of evidence indicates that cyclooxigenase (COX)-2 and prostaglandins (PGs) play an important role in tumorigenesis. Mechanisms involved in COX-2 participation in tumorigenesis and tumor growth include xenobiotic metabolism, angiogenesis stimulation, inhibition of immune surveillance and inhibition of apoptosis. COX-2 is frequently overexpressed in bronchial premalignancy, lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma and COX-2 overexpression is a marker of poor prognosis in surgically resected stage I non-small cell lung cancer. Treatment with COX-2 inhibitors reduces the growth of NSCLC cells in vitro and in xenograft studies. Recent studies have defined some of the mechanisms involved in COX-2 participation in NSCLC development and diffusion. These evidences support the hypothesis that selective COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs) may prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of NSCLC.

Keywords: chemoprevention; chemotherapy; cyclooxygenase-2; non-small cell lung cancer; selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: November 1, 2002

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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