Celecoxib, sold under the brand name of Celebrex by Pfizer Inc., is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which has anti-angiogenic properties and has been explored in a nubmer of cancers both therapeutically and for prevention. Expression of COX-2 in malignant melanoma has been investigated by immunohistochemistry in 28 cases of primary skin melanoma and four benign nevi. COX-2 was expressed in 26 cases (93%) of melanomas, with a moderate to strong expression in 19 cases (68%). Benign nevi as well as normal epithelium were negative in all cases. These results indicate that COX-2 is expressed in malignant melanoma and may be involved in regulation of melanoma invasion. Another group failed to demonstrate COX-2 expression in melanoma tissue samples, but showed that COX-2 inhibitors were able to induce apoptosis in melanoma cells independently of enzyme expression.
One recent study in melanoma patients with surgically incurable recurrent melanoma, 87 percent of whom had stage M1c diseaseshowed regressions in 7 of 27 patients (2 complete regressions, 2 partial regressions, and 3 mixed stable/partial response). For all patients, median overall survival time from first incurable metastasis was 31.9 months, and median times to progressive disease and death from start of celecoxib were 4.3 months and 10.4 months, respectively. I was not able to find otehr trials of Celbrex alone in melnoma. There is also a published combination study with temazolamide.There is an ongoing combination trial: Phase I/II Study of Celebrex and EPO906 in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer, NCT00159484. Celebrex should be considered investigational for treatment of melanoma.
Kenneth S. Wilson Clinical Activity of Celecoxib in Metastatic Malignant Melanoma
Cancer Investigation 2006, Vol. 24, No. 8, Pages 740-74
Melanoma: prevention, detection, and treatment By Catherine M. Poole, DuPont Guerry, Yale University Pres p. 137, 2006
H Gogas et al, Temozolomide in combination with celecoxib in patients with advanced melanoma. A phase II study of the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group
Oxford Journals&MedicineAnnals of OncologyVolume 17, Issue 12, 2006