The treatment of cancer patients can be directed against either primary tumor growth or the occurrence of tumor metastasis. Many ways are available to achieve such a goal. The discovery that cancer cells metabolize prostaglandins gave an important impulse to new research studying the effect of inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis on tumor growth. Like normal cells, cancer cells synthesize prostaglandins; however, quantitative and qualitative differences have been observed. In tumor-bearing individuals, the balance between prostacyclin (PGI2) and thromboxane A2 (TxA2) was sometimes found to be disturbed in favor of TxA2. Such an imbalance might have important implications, particularly with respect to the capacity of tumor cells to adhere to vessel walls and thus to the formation of metastases. These facts obviously stimulated the study of the effects of nonsteroid antiinflammatory agents such as aspirin and indomethacin on tumor growth and metastasis. The results of such an experiment, carried out in our laboratory, is presented in this chapter.
KeywordsThyroid Medullary Carcinoma Prostaglandin Synthesis Nonsteroid Antiinflammatory Agent Cyclooxygenase Inhibitor Paraaortic Lymph Node
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