Pharmacological targeting of breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) is highly promising for the treatment of breast cancer, as the small population of CSCs is responsible for tumor initiation, progression, recurrence and chemo-resistance. Celecoxib is one of the most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which have chemo-preventive activity against cancers, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer. However, the mechanisms by which NSAIDs exert its cancer prevention effects have yet been completely understood. In the present study, we investigated for the first time the effect of celecoxib on breast CSCs inhibition and its potential molecular mechanisms. Our results demonstrated that celecoxib suppresses CSC self-renewal, sensitizes chemo-resistance, inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and attenuates metastasis and tumorigenesis. Further exploring the underlying mechanism revealed that celecoxib targets breast CSCs by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 and down-regulating the Wnt pathway activity. Our findings suggest that celecoxib, by targeting CSCs, may be used as an adjuvant chemotherapy drug to improve breast cancer treatment outcomes.
- Wnt pathway
ASJC Scopus subject areas