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Celecoxib, sold under the brand name Celebrex, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for pain relief and inflammation. It is typically used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and dysmenorrhea.

How does Celebrex work on cancer cells? 

Celecoxib inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is an enzyme responsible for several processes of cancer development, formation of tumours and metastasis. Cancer cells overproduce COX-2 in order to prevent apoptosis, a process of programmed cell death. In our body, apoptosis plays a role in cancer prevention by getting rid of pre-cancerous cells and damaged cells.

By inhibiting COX-2, Celecoxib induces self-destruction of cancer cells and prevents them to grow and spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.

Furthermore, celecoxib increases the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Studies have shown that Celecoxib has effect on many types of cancer, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, tongue cancer, and bladder cancer.


  1. PDE5 Inhibitors Enhance Celecoxib Killing in Multiple Tumor Types
  2. The effect of celecoxib on tumor growth in ovarian cancer cells and a genetically engineered mouse model of serous ovarian cancer
  3. Celecoxib enhances [sorafenib + sildenafil] lethality in cancer cells and reverts platinum chemotherapy resistance
  4. Autophagy inhibition enhances celecoxib-induced apoptosis in osteosarcoma
  5. Celecoxib in breast cancer prevention and therapy