, Volume 30, Issue 3-4, pp 277-294
Date: 15 Oct 2011

Cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases in cancer

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Cancer initiation and progression are multistep events that require cell proliferation, migration, extravasation to the blood or lymphatic vessels, arrest to the metastatic site, and ultimately secondary growth. Tumor cell functions at both primary or secondary sites are controlled by many different factors, including growth factors and their receptors, chemokines, nuclear receptors, cell–cell interactions, cell–matrix interactions, as well as oxygenated metabolites of arachidonic acid. The observation that cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases and their arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoid products (prostanoids and HETEs) are expressed and produced by tumor cells, together with the finding that these enzymes can regulate cell growth, survival, migration, and invasion, has prompted investigators to analyze the roles of these enzymes in cancer progression. In this review, we focus on the contribution of cyclooxygenase- and lipoxygenase-derived eicosanoids to tumor cell function in vitro and in vivo and discuss hope and tribulations of targeting these enzymes for cancer prevention and treatment.