From Arthritis to Tumors – Using Celecoxib to Treat Human Papillomavirus Induced Disease

Respiratory papillomas, premalignant tumors in the airway, are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPVs). The disease is quite rare (3/100,000), while latent airway infection with HPV is common (5% of population). Patients with RRP constitutively express the enzyme COX-2 in their airway. We have found that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a product of COX-2, stimulates HPV expression and is required for activation of latent infection. This finding has implications not only for respiratory papillomas but for management and prevention of the malignancies caused by HPVs.

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