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Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) - A Therapeutic Target in Liver Cancer?

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 32 ]


Marco Breinig, Peter Schirmacher and Michael Andre Kern   Pages 3305 - 3315 ( 11 )


Targeting COX-2, a key-enzyme of the prostaglandin metabolism, for the treatment of cancer has been in the focus of researchers for about a decade. However, only recently has this topic been related to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HCC is one of the most common cancers and a growing health problem worldwide. At present, only few promising treatment options are available, accentuating the urgent need for novel therapeutic approaches. Since the first report of COX-2 overexpression in HCC, several findings support the notion that selective COX-2 inhibition proves to be beneficial in this malignancy. This review focuses on recent discoveries regarding the pro-tumorigenic potential of COX-2 in HCC and the functional effects of COX-2 inhibition on molecular mechanisms of this malignancy. Of clinical interest, promising data from in vivo experiments and case studies suggest a beneficial effect of COX-2 inhibitors for HCC- therapy. Detailed analysis of COX-2- activated pathways and related mechanisms may enable the evaluation and design of even more specific and combinatorial treatment approaches in the future.


prostaglandins,NSAIDs,Growth Factor Signaling,immune responses,proliferation


, , Department of General Pathology, University Hospital, INF 220/221, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

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