Cyclooxygenase-2 expression is up-regulated in human pancreatic cancer

Olga N. Tucker, Andrew J. Dannenberg, Eun K. Yang, Fan Zhang, Lisong Teng, John M. Daly, Robert A. Soslow, Jaime L. Masferrer, Bryan M. Woerner, Alane T. Koki, Thomas J. Fahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

704 Scopus citations


A large body of evidence suggests that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is important in gastrointestinal cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine whether COX-2 was expressed in adenocarcinoma of the human pancreas. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to assess the expression of COX-2 in pancreatic tissue. Levels of COX-2 mRNA were increased by >60-fold in pancreatic cancer compared to adjacent nontumorous tissue. COX-2 protein was present in 9 of 10 cases of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas but was undetectable in nontumorous pancreatic tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that COX-2 was expressed in malignant epithelial cells. In cultured human pancreatic cancer cells, levels of COX-2 mRNA and protein were induced by treatment with tumor-promoting phorbol esters. Taken together, these results suggest that COX-2 may be a target for the prevention or treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-990
Number of pages4
JournalCancer research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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