Cyclo-oxygenase 2 and breast cancer preventionBMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7162.828 (Published 26 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:828
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents are worth testing in breast cancer
- Harri Vainio (Vainio@iarc.fr), Chief,
- Gareth Morgan, Technical officer
- Unit of Chemoprevention, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 69372 Lyons Cedex 08, France
A new interest in chemoprevention in oncology has been stimulated by good evidence that aspirin and to a lesser degree other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may have an important role in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.1 One of the targets for the activity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is cyclo-oxygenase, the enzyme responsible for forming prostaglandins from arachidonic acid.2 At key stages of colorectal carcinogenesis non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, induce apoptosis, and block immunosuppression induced by prostaglandins, all of which help prevent cancer. With the discovery that there are two isoforms of cyclo-oxygenase the ultimate goal of preventive-therapeutic efficacy combined with good tolerability is within reach,3 and researchers are now considering the place of cyclo-oxygenase inhibition, and therefore of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in breast cancer.
Cyclo-oxygenase-1, the constitutive isoform, produces prostaglandins such …