Background. A considerable amount of evidence collected from several experimental systems and clinical studies with nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) indicates that Cox-2 may play a major role in colorectal tumorigenesis, but little information about Cox-2 expression in pancreatic tumors is available. In this study, we investigated Cox-2 expression by means of both immunohistochemical analysis and immunoblot analysis in pancreatic tumors. Methods. Fifty invasive ductal adenocarcinomas and 26 intraductal papillary-mucinous tumors (IPMTs) were used for immunohistochemical analysis, and five pancreatic cancer tissues and five pancreatic cancer cell lines for immunoblot analysis. Results. Cox-2 was expressed in 72% of the invasive ductal adenocarcinomas, 31% of intraductal papillary-mucinous adenocarcinomas, and none of intraductal papillary-mucinous adenomas. The expression rate of Cox-2 in intraductal papillary-mucinous adenocarcinomas was significantly higher than that in intraductal papillary-mucinous adenomas, and that in invasive ductal adenocarcinomas was significantly higher than that in intraductal papillary-mucinous carcinomas. However, there was no significant correlation between Cox-2 expression and the prognosis and clinicopathological factors. Immunoblot analysis identified Cox-2 in all of pancreatic cancer tissues and 60% of cell lines. Conclusion. The biological role of cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) in carcinoma cells should be investigated with reference to the cancer progression of the pancreas.
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