Dr. Coombes on Intriguing Results With Celecoxib in Breast Cancer

Charles Coombes, MD
Published: Thursday, Dec 07, 2017



Charles Coombes, MD, professor of medical oncology, Imperial College London, discusses interesting results from a recent study examining celecoxib’s impact on breast cancer progression and relapse.

The study involved more than 2600 women with breast cancer who were randomized to receive celecoxib or a placebo for 2 years. Considering that celecoxib is an anti-inflammatory agent and inflammation has been known to play a role in disease progression, Coombes hypothesized that the patients who received the drug would have an improvement on progression-free survival. However, there was no overall benefit observed, and about 20% of patients received celecoxib faced relapse.

However, some meaningful insight was still gained about the potential role of celecoxib in breast cancer treatment moving forward. First, researchers were expecting to see an increase in cardiac events, such as strokes, for patients randomized to the drug, but that did not happen. Also, patients who received celecoxib saw improvement in arthralgia, which is one of the most common adverse events for patients on endocrine therapy. Finally, there was a disease-free survival benefit noticed in the 660 women who had celecoxib, but did not require further chemotherapy.

Overall, celecoxib was well tolerated and, while the study did not reach its primary goal, it did open the door for future research on the drug’s use in treating patients with breast cancer.


Charles Coombes, MD, professor of medical oncology, Imperial College London, discusses interesting results from a recent study examining celecoxib’s impact on breast cancer progression and relapse.

The study involved more than 2600 women with breast cancer who were randomized to receive celecoxib or a placebo for 2 years. Considering that celecoxib is an anti-inflammatory agent and inflammation has been known to play a role in disease progression, Coombes hypothesized that the patients who received the drug would have an improvement on progression-free survival. However, there was no overall benefit observed, and about 20% of patients received celecoxib faced relapse.

However, some meaningful insight was still gained about the potential role of celecoxib in breast cancer treatment moving forward. First, researchers were expecting to see an increase in cardiac events, such as strokes, for patients randomized to the drug, but that did not happen. Also, patients who received celecoxib saw improvement in arthralgia, which is one of the most common adverse events for patients on endocrine therapy. Finally, there was a disease-free survival benefit noticed in the 660 women who had celecoxib, but did not require further chemotherapy.

Overall, celecoxib was well tolerated and, while the study did not reach its primary goal, it did open the door for future research on the drug’s use in treating patients with breast cancer.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: 1st Annual Paris Breast Cancer Conference™Dec 31, 20181.5
35th Annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium: Innovative Cancer Therapy for Tomorrow® Clinical Vignette SeriesJan 31, 20192.0
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