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March 2006 Issue

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UC Doc to Test Popular Drug Against Cervical Cancer

By Amanda Harper
Published March 2006

Nader Husseinzadeh, MD, professor of gynecological oncology at UC, is leading local efforts to determine whether celecoxib (Celebrex)--a drug commonly used to treat arthritis and acute pain--can help prevent cervical cancer by stopping the disease in its precancerous stage.

This is the first time celecoxib has been studied in the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer. The drug works by blocking the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, which is responsible for producing the chemical messengers that cause swelling and inflammation.

"No one knows the precise mechanism of the disease, but research suggests that if we can knock out the overproduction of COX-2, we can reduce--and possibly stop completely--the abnormal cell growth that leads to cervical cancer," says Dr. Husseinzadeh.

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