Editors' ChoicePharmacology

An Old Drug Knows New Anticancer Tricks

Science Signaling  01 Jul 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 332, pp. ec184
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005638

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that can nourish a tumor and allow it to grow, is a common target for cancer treatments. A few of these treatments are now part of combination therapies for some cancers, but they are not always effective. Now, Xu et al. report a potential addition to the antiangiogenic armamentarium: cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, such as celecoxib, which are normally used for arthritis. The authors used mouse models to demonstrate that celecoxib can inhibit angiogenesis by a mechanism that differs from that of traditional angiogenesis inhibitors, and combining the two types of drugs was particularly effective for reducing tumor growth and metastasis.

L. Xu, J. Stevens, M. B. Hilton, S. Seaman, T. P. Conrads, T. D. Veenstra, D. Logsdon, H. Morris, D. A. Swing, N. L. Patel, J. Kalen, D. C. Haines, E. Zudaire, B. St. Croix, COX-2 inhibition potentiates antiangiogenic cancer therapy and prevents metastasis in preclinical models. Sci. Transl. Med. 6, 242ra84 (2014). [PubMed]