COX-2 Inhibitors for the Prevention of Breast Cancer

Louise R. Howe, Andrew J. Dannenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The inducible prostaglandin synthase cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is normally expressed predominantly in kidney and brain, and also has important roles in reproduction and inflammation. COX-2 misexpression has been observed in numerous human cancers, including the majority of colorectal cancers. Recently, COX-2 overexpression has been described in human breast cancer. COX-2 is present in about 40% of invasive breast carcinomas, particularly those that overexpress HER2/neu, and COX-2 expression correlates with poor patient prognosis. Manipulation of Cox-2 gene dosage by using transgenic overexpression and knockout approaches has revealed an important role for Cox-2 in tumorigenesis. Furthermore, translational experiments using rodent breast cancer models suggest COX-2 inhibition to be an effective strategy for both prevention and treatment of experimental breast cancers. Since COX-2 can contribute to multiple facets of tumorigenesis, including angiogenesis, several mechanisms are likely to underlie the anticancer action of COX inhibitors. Thus, selective COX-2 inhibitors offer considerable promise for the prevention and treatment of human breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-43
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Angiogenesis
  • Breast cancer
  • Chemoprevention
  • COX-2
  • HER2/neu
  • Prognostic indicator
  • Prostaglandin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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