Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) up-regulation is a prognostic marker for poor clinical outcome of upper tract urothelial cancer

Hung Lung Ke, Hung Pin Tu, Hui Hui Lin, Chee Yin Chai, Lin Li Chang, Wei Ming Li, Ching Chia Li, Yi Chen Lee, Hsin Chih Yeh, Wen Jeng Wu, Da Tian Bau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: There are no reliable biomarkers for diagnosis, prediction of outcome or treatment effect monitoring for upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), which is a uniquely prevalent cancer in Taiwan. In the present study, 128 primary UTUC specimens of various grades and primary tumor status were examined for the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in tumor and stroma tissues aiming to clarify the association of COX-2 expression with clinical outcomes in Taiwanese patients with UTUC. Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemistry was implemented to investigate COX-2 expression levels in 128 paired tumor and stroma specimens. The association of COX-2 expression with tumor progression and prognosis was analyzed. Results: Our data demonstrated that positive COX-2 expression was more frequent in stromal cells (57.0%), than in tumor sites (53.1%), and the up-regulation of COX-2 was strongly associated with higher cancer-specific death and cancer recurrence rates. In COX-2-negative cases, no similar correlation was found. Conclusion: COX-2 expression was up-regulated in both stromal and tumor cells of more than half of the studied UTUC patients and the positive expression of COX-2 in stromal cells may be a potential predictive and prognostic biomarker for UTUC, especially for cancer-specific death and recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4111-4116
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cox-2 positivity
  • Cyclooxygenase-2
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Upper tract urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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