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COX-2 specific inhibitors enhance the cytotoxic effects of pemetrexed in mesothelioma cell lines

O'Kane, Sara L.; Eagle, Gina L.; Greenman, John; Lind, Michael J.; Cawkwell, Lynn


Sara L. O'Kane

Gina L. Eagle

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Professor Michael Lind
Foundation Professor of Oncology/ Head of the Joint Centre for Cancer Studies

Lynn Cawkwell


BACKGROUND Although malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare tumour, its incidence is increasing. The prognosis remains very poor with an average survival of 10 months from diagnosis. The choice of chemotherapy regimens for mesothelioma patients is limited and new approaches are required. COX-2 inhibition induces apoptosis in a variety of tumour cell lines. The cytotoxic effect of conventional drugs may be enhanced by the addition of a COX-2 inhibitor. In order to identify possible new therapeutic approaches we aimed to determine whether the addition of COX-2 inhibitors would enhance the cytotoxic effect of chemotherapeutic agents in mesothelioma cell lines. MATERIALS AND METHODS Three mesothelioma cell lines MSTO-211H, NCI-H2052 and NCI-H2452 were utilised. Using the COX-2 positive A549 lung cancer cell line as control, all cell lines were assayed using an MTT assay with non-specific COX-2 inhibitors (sulindac and flurbiprofen), specific COX-2 inhibitors (DuP-697 and NS-398), and chemotherapeutic agents (cisplatin, vinorelbine and pemetrexed). RESULTS All cell lines exhibited COX-2 expression by western blotting using two antibodies. The addition of either DuP-697 or NS-398 increased the sensitivity to pemetrexed in all cell lines. CONCLUSION These findings suggest that the design of novel pemetrexed-containing combination regimens with increased cytotoxicity may be feasible.


O'Kane, S. L., Eagle, G. L., Greenman, J., Lind, M. J., & Cawkwell, L. (2010). COX-2 specific inhibitors enhance the cytotoxic effects of pemetrexed in mesothelioma cell lines. Lung Cancer, 67(2), 160-165.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 17, 2009
Online Publication Date May 17, 2009
Publication Date 2010-02
Journal Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Print ISSN 0169-5002
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 67
Issue 2
Pages 160-165
Keywords Cisplatin; COX-2; Cytotoxicity; Mesothelioma; Pemetrexed; Vinorelbine
Public URL
PMID 19450893