Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Separating a Cancer Prevention Drug from Heart Disease Risk

*Celecoxib reduces the risk of developing precancerous colon polyps, at the cost of increased heart disease risk.
*By looking closely at how celecoxib acts in the cell, it may be possible to get the benefit without the added risk.
*Celecoxib inhibits the enzyme GSK3, possibly accounting for its anticancer effects in multiple cell types.

Several clinical studies have shown that taking the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib can reduce the risk of developing polyps that lead to colon cancers, at the cost of increasing the risk of heart disease. But what if this tradeoff was not necessary?

Researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have identified a way that celecoxib (Celebrex) pushes cancer cells into suicide, separately from its known effects. The Winship team’s results outline a route to alternatives to celecoxib that keep its cancer-preventive properties while avoiding its risks.

Celecoxib’s risk profile has confined its use to people who have inherited cancer risk or those who have had cancer already. Its effectiveness at stopping tumor progression and recurrence is being tested in several clinical trials for people who have had lung, head and neck and other types of cancer.

Shi-Yong Sun, PhD, and colleagues report in an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer Research that celecoxib inhibits an enzyme called GSK3 (glycogen synthase kinase 3) in lung cancer cells. This causes the disappearance of a protein called c-FLIP, which usually staves off apoptosis, a form of cellular suicide.

“We have been focusing on how celecoxib induces c-FLIP degradation and apoptosis in cancer cells, independent of COX-2 inhibition,” Sun says.

Scientists think that celecoxib’s ability to inhibit COX-2 enzymes is the basis for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its influence on heart disease. In cell culture, some chemical relatives of celecoxib have been shown to have anticancer effects without inhibiting COX-2.

Sun is professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar. The first author of the paper, postdoc Shuzhen Chen, is now at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences’ Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology in Beijing. Fadlo Khuri, MD, deputy director of Winship Cancer Institute, is a co-author on the paper.

The result was surprising partly because until a few years ago, scientists thought that inhibiting GSK3, while possibly helpful in diseases such as diabetes, could promote cancer. However, recent results suggest that blocking GSK3 may stop cell growth in prostate, pancreatic and colon cancers and some types of leukemia.

Sun cautions: “We do not know whether GSK3 inhibition by celecoxib has anything to do with celecoxib’s cardiovascular risk.”

The research was supported by the Georgia Cancer Coalition, the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

S. Chen, W. Cao, P. Yue, C. Hao, F.R. Khuri and S.Y Sun. Celecoxib promotes c-FLIP degradation through Akt-independent inhibition of GSK3. Cancer Res. Online ahead of print. (2011).

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: COX-2 Cancer Drug Delivery GSK3 Prevention Separating Winship cancer cells colon cancer heart disease

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>