UPSTREAM, DOWNSTREAM: Biochemical activity upstream of cyclooxygenase is better understood than reactions downstream of the enzyme.
The relationship between anti-inflammatory drugs and other diseases appeared epidemiologically before COX-2 inhibitors were tested. When scientists at pharmaceutical companies tested their own COX-2 inhibitors as anti-inflammatory agents in clinical trials, those epidemiological links became stronger. Now, both companies are testing their compounds for efficacy against conditions other than arthritis. And scientists are now examining how one mechanism can affect many diseases. "Undoubtedly, there are many diseases that will share common pathways, be it inflammation, carcinogenesis, or neurodegenerative processes," notes Andrew J. Dannenberg, director of the Strang-Cornell Gastrointestinal Cancer...
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