Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) is an inducible enzyme involved in the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandin and other eicosanoids. Molecular pathology studies have revealed that Cox-2 is over-expressed in cancer and stroma cells during tumor progression, and anti-cancer chemo-radiotherapies induce expression of Cox-2 in cancer cells. Elevated tumor Cox-2 is associated with increased angiogenesis, tumor invasion and promotion of tumor cell resistance to apoptosis. Several experimental and clinical studies have established potent anti-cancer activity of NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and other Cox-2 inhibitors such as celecoxib. Much attention is being focused on Cox-2 inhibitors as a beneficial target for cancer chemotherapy. The mode of action of Cox-2 and its inhibitors remains unclear. Further clinical application needs to be investigated for comprehending Cox-2 biological functions and establishing it as an effective target in cancer therapy.
Keywords: Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), apoptosis, angiogenesis, cancer, prostaglandin, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, celecoxib, enzyme, arachidonic acid
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