Increasing the risk of cancer

ORLANDO As scientists delve further into the mysteries of cancer formation, researchers are finding some surprising results pointing to a variety of environmental and dietary conditions that might increase an individual's risk. In a press briefing presented here at the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, scientists describe an eclectic mix of potential hazards and how each might work in the body to potentially increase risk for human cancer.

A selective COX-2 inhibitor differentially modulates tumor angiogenesis and growth in COX-2 expressing and COX-2 lacking pancreatic cancer in vivo: Abstract No. 4792

A popular drug used to treat arthritis worldwide has been found to promote tumor growth in specific types of human pancreatic cancer cells, according to a study presented by investigators with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

In their studies, the researchers found that the anti-inflammatory drug nimesulide triggered the growth of blood vessels, or angiogenesis, in human pancreatic cells that do not express an enzyme called COX-2.

Nimesulide belongs to a class of so-called "super aspirins" that primarily work by blocking COX-2, thus inhibiting inflammation seen a variety of ailments including arthritis and even some cancers.

In fact, the UCLA study confirmed that nimesulide actually inhibited angiogenesis and tumor growth in pancreatic tumors that express COX-2.

"Basically, for the first time, we have shown that a selective COX-2 inhibitor can simulate tumor growth," said Guido E. Eibl, M.D., a researcher in the Hirshberg Pancreatic Cancer Laboratory at the UCLA School of Medicine.

"However, its effects, depend on whether the tumor expresses COX-2 or not," he added. Depending on

Contact: Aimee Frank
American Association for Cancer Research

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