Cyclooxygenase-2 expression as a new marker for patients with colorectal cancer

Takeyoshi Yamauchi, Masahiko Watanabe, Tetsuro Kubota, Hirotoshi Hasegawa, Yoshiyuki Ishii, Takashi Endo, Yasuo Kabeshima, Kyoko Yorozuya, Kentaro Yamamoto, Makio Mukai, Masaki Kitajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Epidemiologic studies indicate that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which inhibit cyclooxygenase activity, reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, several studies demonstrate increased expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in human colorectal cancer tissues. However, the role of cyclooxygenase-2 expression in colorectal cancer has not yet been fully established. The aim of this study was to clarify the clinicopathologic significance of cyclooxygenase-2 expression in human colorectal cancer. METHODS: A total of 232 surgically resected colorectal cancer specimens were analyzed immunohistochemically with the use of a murine anti-human cyclooxygenase-2 monoclonal antibody. Cyclooxygenase-2 expression was then compared with clinicopathologic background and survival outcome. RESULTS: Cyclooxygenase-2 was expressed in the cytoplasm of the cancer cells but not in normal epithelium. Cyclooxygenase-2 expression was noted in 71.6 percent (166/232) of the cancer patients and correlated significantly with histologic type (P = 0.033), depth of invasion (P = 0.016), pathologic stage (P = 0.020), and metachronous liver metastasis (P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis for factors associated with metachronous liver metastasis showed that cyclooxygenase-2 expression was one of the independent risk factors, second only to lymph node metastasis. Patients with cyclooxygenase-2 expression showed a significantly poorer outcome compared with those without cyclooxygenase-2 expression (P = 0.002). CONCLUSION: Cyclooxygenase-2 expression in the primary lesion may be a useful marker for evaluating prognosis and liver metastasis in patients with colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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