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Differential expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in metastatic melanoma affects progression free survival

The possible correlation between cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and disease progression in melanoma is still a matter of debate. Analysis of COX-2 expression in 45 lymph node melanoma metastases demonstrates a significant correlation between the percent of expression and progression free survival (PFS). A positive COX-2 expression ≥10% (COX-2high), as opposite to a positive expression ≤9% (COX-2low), translated into a striking significant reduction of PFS of about 3 years. The reduction in PFS correlated neither with BRAFV600E nor with NRASQ61 expression in the analyzed samples. This concept was reinforced by the finding that tumour development in COX-2-/- mice was almost blunted. Similarly, inhibition of COX-2 protein expression in human melanoma cell lines, by using siRNAs technology as well as selective inhibition of COX-2 activity by celecoxib, reduced cellular proliferation and invasiveness. In conclusion we show that COX-2high is a negative prognostic factor in metastatic melanoma. Our study also clarifies that the uncertainty about the role of COX-2 in metastatic malignant melanoma, found in the current relevant literature, is probably due to the fact that a threshold in COX-2 expression has to be reached in order to impact on cancer malignancy. Our findings suggest that COX-2 expression may become an useful diagnostic tool in defining melanoma malignancy as well as argue for a possible therapeutic use of NSAID as add on therapy in selected cases.

Related Products

Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S1261 Celecoxib Celecoxib is a selective COX-2 inhibitor with IC50 of 40 nM in Sf9 cells. (23) (5)

Related Targets

COX