Cyclooxygenase-2 expression in medullary thyroid carcinoma

Aron Popovtzer*, Sara Morgenstein, Pepi Roizman, Dan Gutman, Gidi Bahar, Yoram Stern, Rafael Feinmesser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Recent studies have demonstrated that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression is associated with the carcinogenesis of numerous neoplasms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of COX-2 in medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Methods. Tissue specimens of thyroid neoplasms were obtained from 22 patients with MTC and 15 control subjects with nonmalignant thyroid specimens. Results. This immunohistochemical study confirms the presence of COX-2 in a significant number of MTCs. A large area of staining was noted in only 2 patients in the control group (13%) compared with 18 (82%) in the medullary carcinoma group. On a scale of 0 to 3, the average area of positive staining measured 2.35 in the study group and 0.9 in the control group (p < .0001), The average intensity of staining on a scale of 0 to 5 (deep brown) was 2.15 and 0.8 mm, respectively (p < .001). Conclusion. COX-2 is expressed significantly in MTC including a larger area of staining and greater intensity than in nonmalignant thyroid tissue. These findings may have important treatment implications for the use of COX-2 inhibitors in patients with MTC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-563
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • COX-2
  • Colloid goiter
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma


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