Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Treatment

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Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the fifth most common cause of cancer mortality among women. At present, EOC is treated with one or in a combination of treatments, commonly debulking surgery, combining a platinum-based and a taxane-based therapy; however, the patients have a risk of injury to the bowel, bladder, ureter, and vessels during surgery and many of them suffer from severe adverse effects caused by chemotherapy. Pharmaceutical inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX) might be an important therapeutic tool in cancer treatment, as COX contributes to cancer progression by upregulating the levels of downstream metabolites. In this review article, we have discussed the role of COX in cancer progression and the therapeutic use of COX inhibitors in the treatment of EOC with subsequent clinical studies and future management. Usually, gonadotropins can promote prostaglandin E2 production in EOC cells via COX-1 and -2 upregulations through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Several reports have shown that treatment of EOC cells with COX-1- and COX-2-specific inhibitors exhibits a therapeutic effect on EOC both in vitro and in vivo. However, more clinical investigations are needed to develop therapeutic COX inhibitors for the prevention and treatment of EOC without adverse effects.

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