The addition of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) to hormone therapy may cause regression of tumor growth in men with advanced prostate cancer. Scientists at the Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego used a mouse model of prostate cancer to evaluate the efficacy of this combination treatment approach.
Hormone therapy (also known as androgen ablation therapy) in prostate cancer typically controls tumor growth at first, but eventually the cancer becomes resistant to the therapy partly because complete elimination of the hormones is not achieved. Therefore, scientists want to find other effective ways to complement this approach to stop prostate cancer growth.
Hormone therapy and celecoxib in prostate cancer
The study involved one group of control mice and four treatment groups: untreated non-castrated (hormone ablation) mice, castration alone, celecoxib alone, and castration plus celecoxib. Results of the study showed:
- Hormone therapy combined with celecoxib caused regression of the tumors through decreased angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels, which feed tumors) and increased apoptosis (cell suicide) and arrested mitosis (cell division).
- Celecoxib alone reduced growth of the tumors mainly by causing a disruption in mitosis, which resulted in increased cell suicide
- Surgical castration or hormone therapy prevented tumor growth
The authors concluded that celecoxib “significantly increases the efficacy of androgen withdrawal in vivo and warrants further investigation as a complement therapy for advanced prostate cancer.”
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.
Abedinpour P et al. Regression of prostate tumors upon combination of hormone ablation therapy and celecoxib in vivo. Prostate 2011 Jun 1; 71(8): 813-23