Cyclooxygenase-2 expression does not correlate with outcome in osteosarcoma or rhabdomyosarcoma

David S. Dickens, Rafal Kozielski, Patrick J. Leavey, Charles Timmons, Timothy P. Cripe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine if expression of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, an inducible enzyme with known tumor-promoting activity, correlates with outcome in pediatric sarcomas. COX-2 overexpression correlates with more aggressive disease in a variety of adult solid tumors. Methods: Archived human osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and Ewing sarcoma tumors were retrospectively evaluated, blinded to outcome, for COX-2 expression by immunohistochemistry and correlated with patient characteristics and survival. Results: COX-2 expression was detected in 94 of 142 (66%) tumors (osteosarcoma, 66/99 [67%]; rhabdomyosarcoma, 21/35 [60%]; Ewing sarcoma, 7/8 [88%]) and 51 of 85 (60%) diagnostic biopsies (osteosarcoma, 26/45 [58%]; rhabdomyosarcoma, 21/35 [60%]; Ewing sarcoma, 4/5 [80%]). COX-2 expression did not vary with clinicopathologic features and was not predictive of prognosis in these cases. Conclusions: This study does not support the use of COX-2 expression as an upfront prognostic variable in patients with osteosarcoma or rhabdomyosarcoma. Results from the small number of patients studied with Ewing sarcoma suggest a similar lack of predictive value for COX-2 expression. However, COX-2 inhibitors are not entirely dependent upon enzyme expression for their antitumor effects; this study does not necessarily preclude the use of COX-2 inhibitors for the treatment of pediatric sarcomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-285
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Celecoxib
  • Cyclooxygenase-2
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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