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Lege Artis Medicinae

NOVEMBER 30, 2004


MŰZES Györgyi

[The cyclooxygenase (COX) metabolic pathway and prostaglandin production appear to play a causal role in the promotion and progression of human cancers. Recently COX-2 has received a great deal of interest since it is frequently overexpressed in a wide spectrum of cancers and precancerous lesions. Furthermore, elevated production of prostanoids (particularly PGE2) via COX-2 is associated with several pro-carcinogenic effects including increased proliferation, apoptosis resistance, tumor neoangiogenesis and invasiveness, host immunosuppression, and altered xenobiotic metabolism. Inhibitors of COX-1 and COX-2 (aspirin and most other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and of COX-2 alone (e.g. coxibs) have shown cancer preventive efficacy in epidemiological studies, experimental studies and in human clinical trials. Due to their improved side effect profile, COX-2 selective inhibitors appear to hold substantial promise for long-term administration in the setting of cancer prevention. Emerging data suggest that these agents may have potential in cancer treatment as well. In addition recent results indicate that COX-2 enzyme is also overexpressed in inflammatory processes of the central nervous system, e.g. in Alzheimer’s disease, so its suppression could offer a possible new therapeutic strategy even in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.]