A growing body of research reveals that malignant cells can induce cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin expression. Induction of COX-2 has been reported not only in isolated hepatic cells, but also in cancer cells. Both proteins are part of complex hormonal cycles involving the production of estrogen. Imbalance of hormone secretion can generate alteration at the cellular level. COX-2 inhibitors have been shown to mediate signal transduction and consequently prevent specific cancer in man. In this review, we focus on the recent study of COX-2 inhibitors for cancer prevention. The biologic action of COX-2 inhibitor on key pathway in signal transduction was discussed. The signal transduction pathway culminates with the ultimate target hepatic cells. The study provides information on the roles of COX-2 and its inhibitors. The mode of action of COX-2 inhibitor may lead to development of potential chemopreventive agents for cancer in humans. Information on the expression of COX-2 may reveal modulation of cellular functions by COX-2 inhibitors.
Keywords: hepatocarcinogenesis, cox-2, inhibitor, prevention
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