June 2002

Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors for Skin Cancer PreventionAre They Beneficial Enough?

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Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(6):823-824. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.6.823

IN THIS issue of the ARCHIVES, Orengo et al1 confirm and extend recent exciting work in the field of skin cancer prevention. In their study, hairless mice fed therapeutic doses of the selective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor celecoxib had dramatically reduced numbers of UV-B–induced tumors. The data also show a trend toward longer latency before the appearance of the tumors. This work, together with that of Pentland et al2 and Fischer et al,3 extends to skin observations on the chemopreventive activity of COX-2 inhibitors. This class of drugs and their parent compounds, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), have already been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of breast and colon cancer in humans in addition to other benefits such as reducing the incidence of repeat myocardial infarction and decreasing the risk of Alzheimer disease.48 The fact that NSAIDs are known to be so efficacious in preventing other human tumors lends excitement to the possibility that this effect may be present in human populations at risk for basal and squamous cell carcinoma.

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