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SOURCE: Reuters Health

Celebrex Hits Mesothelioma, in Lab Studies

May 6, 2004

The COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex, usually prescribed for arthritis, has a marked effect on the asbestos-related cancer malignant mesothelioma in lab and animal experiments, according to a report from Italy.

Current treatments for mesothelioma have failed to alter its dismal prognosis, the authors comment in the International Journal of Cancer, but one selective COX-2 inhibitor has been shown to stop mesothelioma cells growing in a lab dish.

This prompted Dr. Alfonso Catalano at the University of Marche in Ancona and colleagues to assess the effects of Celebrex (a.k.a. celecoxib) on experimental mesothelioma.

Celecoxib and similar compounds all inhibited proliferation of a mesothelioma cell line without inhibiting the growth of a normal mesothelial cell line, the researchers report. Celecoxib was the most effective of the agents tested.

In mice implanted with mesothelioma, celecoxib treatment significantly increased average survival from 45 days to 62 days, the researchers note, and there were three long-term (more than 120 days) survivors among the treated mice.

"These results provide the first evidence that celecoxib is effective for the prevention and regression of malignant mesothelioma cells in experimental models ... and strongly support ongoing clinical trials in malignant mesothelioma patients," the team concludes.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, April 10, 2004.

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