Aberrant arachidonic acid metabolism has recently received intensive attention in the field of cancer research. Recent discoveries regarding the long-term cardiovascular side effects of cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors have cast doubts on their use for cancer chemoprevention. Although such a problem does not undermine the importance of cyclooxygenase 2 as a cancer chemopreventive target, investigation into other AA-metabolizing pathways that are also important in inflammation and inflammation-associated carcinogenesis is necessary. Here, the important role of the 5-lipoxygenase pathway in carcinogenesis is reviewed. Inhibition of the 5-lipoxygenase pathways clearly has chemopreventive effects on various cancers, and hence further studies on its enzymes, metabolites and receptors for cancer chemoprevention and therapy are warranted.
Keywords: 5-Lipoxygenase, leukotrienes, cancer
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