The inducible inflammatory enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its product prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ) are prominent tumour promoters, and expression of COX-2 is elevated in a number of tumours of both humans and canines. Targeting COX-2 in cancer is an attractive option due to readily available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and there is a clear epidemiological link between NSAID use and cancer risk. In this study we aim to establish the anti-tumourigenic effects of the selective, long-acting COX-2 inhibitor mavacoxib. We demonstrate here that mavacoxib is cytotoxic to a panel of human and canine osteosarcoma, mammary and bladder carcinoma cancer cell lines; that it can induce apoptosis and inhibit the migration of these cells. Interestingly, we establish that mavacoxib can exert these effects independently of elevated COX-2 expression. This study highlights the potentially novel use of mavacoxib as a cancer therapeutic, suggesting that mavacoxib may be an effective anti-cancer agent independent of tumour COX-2 expression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- Comparative oncology
- COX-2 independent effects