Drug Discovery & Development
The main therapeutic target of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). One of the isoforms of COX, named COX-2, is implicated in several physiological responses, including angiogenesis and metastasis. COX-2 is overexpressed in most solid tumors, and is associated with resistance to apoptosis and cancer immunotherapy, while selective COX-2 inhibitors can inhibit cell proliferation, tumor invasiveness, and angiogenesis.
The impact of COX-2 inhibitors in reducing cancer and cancer risk, and improving survival in several types of cancer, is well established, and furthermore, preclinical data demonstrate that COX inhibitors could be useful adjuvants for immune-based therapies in cancer.
Drug Discovery & Development (DDD) spoke to Joseph Murphy, Ph.D., Director of Science, R&D at Charles River Laboratories, about using NSAIDs as an effective anticancer immunotherapy.