A new study has reported that taking Celebrex can interfere with the effectiveness of some chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer. The study was designed to investigate the ability of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors to sensitize various types of cancer cells to several types of chemotherapy. COX-2 inhibitors are a type of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), which reduce pain, fever, and swelling associated with inflammation. NSAIDs act by blocking the production of prostaglandins, of which COX-2 is one. Traditional NSAIDs such as aspirin normally block both COX-1 and COX-2, whereas COX-2 inhibitors block only COX-2. Celebrex (celecoxib), a COX-2 inhibitor, is being evaluated in clinical cancer trials to see if it can enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Use of Celebrex has been found to be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer. In the present study, the authors analyzed the impact of Celebrex using various incubation schedules on sensitivity, cell cycle, programmed cell death and DNA damage of five cancer cell lines (HeLa (derived from cervical cancer), HCT116 (colorectal), HepG2 (liver), MCF7 (breast) and U251 (brain)) when the cells were treated with the chemotherapy agents 5-FU (5-fluorouracil ), cisplatin, Adriamycin (doxorubicin) or etoposide.

Celebrex was found to reduce the effectiveness of all four chemotherapy drugs in MCF-7 breast cancer cells following each of the schedules tested. Celebrex also interfered with Adriamycin in all the cancer cell lines, apart from two schedules in the colorectal cancer cells. Celebrex in combination with the other three drugs in the remaining four cell lines resulted in various different interactions. Further study indicated that Celebrex exerted different molecular effects in different cell types. The authors conclude that the study results, if confirmed in animal or human studies, indicate that Celebrex is not a suitable chemosensitizer for breast cancer or with Adriamycin for other cancers.

Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.