Cyclo-oxygenase inhibition reduces tumour growth and metastasis in an orthotopic model of breast cancer.

The effect of selective and non-selective cyclo-oxygenase inhibition on tumour growth and metastasis in an orthotopic model of breast cancer was investigated. 4T1 mammary adenocarcinoma cells were injected into the mammary fat pad of female BALB/c mice. When tumours reached a mean tumour diameter of 8.4+/-0.4 mm, mice were randomised into three groups (n=6 per group) and received daily intraperitoneal injections of the selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitor, SC-236, the non selective cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, Indomethacin, or drug vehicle. Tumour diameter was recorded on alternate days. From 8 days after initiation of treatment, tumour diameter in animals treated with either SC-236 or indomethacin was significantly reduced relative to controls. Both primary tumour weight and the number of lung metastases were significantly reduced in the SC-236 and indomethacin treated mice. Microvessel density was reduced and tumor cell apoptosis increased in the primary tumour of mice treated with either the selective or non-selective cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor. In vitro, cyclo-oxygenase inhibition decreased vascular endothelial growth factor production and increased apoptosis of tumour cells. Our results suggest that cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors will be of value in the treatment of both primary and metastatic breast cancer.