Celebrex (Celecoxib) and Cancer

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

A substantial amount of research has been carried out into the potential role celecoxib might play in reducing cancer rates.

Celecoxib exerts its pain relieving effects by inhibiting the enzyme cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2). This inhibition of COX-2 has been shown to cause several adverse heart effects, which has prevented the use of celecoxib as an anticancer agent.

Celecoxib and colon and rectum cancer

Research findings have suggested that celecoxib and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

Several small clinical studies on humans showed that patients at high risk of colorectal cancer due to a family history of familial adenomatous polyposis benefit from taking celecoxib, which prevented the growth of polyps in these patients. This led to large-scale clinical trials being conducted to further test the effects of the drug.

According to the landmark study by Arber and Bertagnolli published in 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the rate of polyp recurrence was reduced by between 33% and 45% in people who took daily celecoxib (400 to 800 mg). On the other hand, treatment with celecoxib was associated with a significantly increased rate of adverse cardiovascular events compared with the use of placebo.

Celecoxib and cancer treatment

Currently, it is unclear whether the inhibition of COX-2 by celecoxib may be a useful approach in the treatment (rather than prevention) of cancer. However, studies have shown that celecoxib may interact with other cell components aside from the intended target, COX-2. This discovery contradicted the initial assumption that celecoxib primarily exerts its anticancer effects through inhibition of COX-2.

Further studies showed that although the anti-inflammatory effects of celecoxib were indeed linked to inhibition of COX-2, the drug’s anticancer mechanism was not clear. One study of malignant tumor cells showed that celecoxib did reduce the growth of these cells but that this effect could also be achieved using cancer cells that did not even contain COX-2.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 18). Celebrex (Celecoxib) and Cancer. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 18, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Celebrex-(Celecoxib)-and-Cancer.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Celebrex (Celecoxib) and Cancer". News-Medical. 18 May 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Celebrex-(Celecoxib)-and-Cancer.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Celebrex (Celecoxib) and Cancer". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Celebrex-(Celecoxib)-and-Cancer.aspx. (accessed May 18, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Celebrex (Celecoxib) and Cancer. News-Medical, viewed 18 May 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Celebrex-(Celecoxib)-and-Cancer.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.