Piroxicam is an ineffective inhibitor of N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus

Peter S. Carlton, Rajaram Gopalakrishnan, Ashok Gupta, Beth W. Liston, Suzy Habib, Mark A. Morse, Gary D. Stoner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Epidemiological studies indicate an association between the frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and decreased risk for esophageal cancer. These studies suggest that limiting excess prostaglandin production, via inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX)-mediated arachidonic acid metabolism, may be an important strategy for the prevention of this type of malignancy. N-Nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus is a model of human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma used for investigations of chemical carcinogenesis and for the evaluation of putative chemopreventive agents. In this study, we characterized COX-mediated arachidonic acid metabolism in NMBA- induced rat esophageal tumorigenesis by measuring COX-1 and COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E2 production. In addition, we evaluated the ability of piroxicam, a potent COX inhibitor, to prevent postinitiation events of NMBA-induced tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus. After a 2-week acclimatization period, groups of 30 male F344 rats received s.c. injections of NMBA (0.5 mg/kg b.w.) three times/week for 5 weeks. Seventy-two h after the final NMBA treatment and for the remainder of the study, piroxicam was administered in the diet at 200 and 400 ppm. Twenty-five weeks after the initiation of NMBA treatment, we observed an elevation in COX mRNA and protein expression and prostaglandin E2 production in NMBA-treated esophageal tissues compared with normal epithelium. However, these changes were associated with data indicating that a COX inhibitor is not preventive in NMBA-induced rat esophageal tumorigenesis. Administration of piroxicam in the diet produced no significant reductions in esophageal tumor incidence, multiplicity, or size. The reasons for the lack of effect are largely unknown but may be related to the inability of piroxicam to modulate other biochemical pathways involved in NMBA-induced tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4376-4382
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002


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