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COX-2 inhibitors and their role in cancer prevention and treatment.


The various steps in the process of carcinogenesis take many years, which contributes to several opportunities for intervention to inhibit growth of the disease. The reduction in the risk, associated with cancer may be done by few effective chemopreventive agents, through inhibition of the initiation of carcinoma or induction of apoptosis or DNA repair, in cells harboring mutations. Over expression of cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2) has been identified in pre-cancerous, cancerous and metastatic human cancers, and its level was found to be significantly correlating with cancer. In vitro, preclinical and clinical data have supported the hypothesis that COX-2 plays a central role in oncogenesis, and treatment with COX-2 inhibitors provides an effective chemopreventive approach, like activity of celecoxib in familial adenomatous polyposis. Understanding the role of COX-2 in the initiation of carcinomas can lead to many clinical trials, testing COX-2 inhibitors for the chemoprevention of a wide variety of cancers that over-express COX-2.

Key words: COX-2, Prostaglandins, Tumorigenesis, COX-2 inhibitors, Chemoprevention.

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