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Detection of COX-2 in liquid biopsy of patients with prostate cancer
  1. Vanessa Silva Pereira1,
  2. Beatriz da Costa Aguiar Alves2,
  3. Jaques Waisberg3,4,
  4. Fernando Fonseca2,5,
  5. Flavia Gehrke1,6
  1. 1Programa de Pós Graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Iamspe, São Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2Laboratório de Análises Clínicas, Centro Universitário FMABC, Santo André, Brazil
  3. 3Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência Cirúrgica Interdisciplinar, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, UNIFESP/EPM, São Paulo, Brazil
  4. 4Cirurgia, Centro Universitário FMABC, Santo André, Brazil
  5. 5Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo/UNIFESP, Diadema, Brazil
  6. 6Patologia, Centro Universitário FMABC, Santo André, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Dr Flavia Gehrke, Patologia, Centro Universitário FMABC, Santo Andre, Sao Paulo, Brazil; flaviagehrke{at}


Aims To determine the profile of COX-2 gene expression in patients with prostate cancer attended at the ABC University Health Center outpatient clinic and correlate the results with patients’ anatomopathological examinations. Prostate cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer worldwide and the second in Brazil. COX-2 expression is associated with an unfavourable prognosis.

Methods 15.0 mL of peripheral blood were collected from 24 patients and 25 healthy men. RNA extraction was performed using the QIAamp RNA Blood Mini Kit. Complementary DNA synthesis was performed using SuperScript II RNAse Reverse Transcriptase. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed with specific COX-2 oligonucleotides and the endogenous GAPDH gene.

Results The mean age of the patients was 69 years old. The Gleason scoring system showed 37.5% of patients with Gleason 6 (slow growth, low risk), 45.8% with Gleason 7 (intermediate risk) and 16.7% with Gleason 8 or 9 (risk of high-grade cancer). The median COX-2 expression in the study group was 0.97, while in the control group it was 0.11 (p<0.045).

Conclusions Patients with prostate cancer showed higher COX-2 expression at diagnosis compared with the control group. Since COX-2 detection associated with prostate-specific antigen dosage shows promise as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis in patients with prostate cancer, further research is required to confirm these findings.

  • prostate
  • biomarkers
  • tumour
  • prostaglandins
  • blood proteins

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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Data availability statement

No data are available.

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  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors VSP collected, analysed and organised the data on the qRT-PCR finding. BdCAA, JW and FF contributed equally to the collection and organisation of clinical data and to the writing and editing of the manuscript. FG organised the data on the qRT-PCR findings and clinical data, and wrote and edited the manuscript, and is the guarantor .

  • Funding This study was financed in part by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (PROAP AUXP CAPES n. 1175/2019).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.