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.
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.