Chemotherapeutic properties of phospho-nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a new class of anticancer compounds

Liqun Huang, Gerardo Mackenzie, Yu Sun, Nengtai Ouyang, Gang Xie, Kvetoslava Vrankova, Despina Komninou, Basil Rigas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) exhibit antineoplastic properties, but conventional NSAIDs do not fully meet safety and efficacy criteria for use as anticancer agents. In this study, we evaluated the chemotherapeutic efficacy of 5 novel phospho-NSAIDs, each of which includes in addition to the NSAID moiety a diethylphosphate linked through a butane moiety. All 5 compounds inhibited the growth of human breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer cell lines with micromolar potency. In vivo investigations confirmed the antitumor activity of phospho-aspirin (PA) and phospho-sulindac (PS) in inhibiting tumor growth in established human xenograft models, in which cell proliferation was suppressed and apoptosis enhanced in the absence of detectable animal toxicity. Notably, all of the phospho-NSAIDs tested induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in cultured cells, with PA and PS inducing detectable levels of oxidative stress in vivo that were associated positively with apoptosis and negatively with proliferation. Potentially explaining these effects, all of the phospho-NSAIDs tested also inhibited the thioredoxin system and the redox sensitive transcription factor NF-κB. Taken together, our findings show the strong anticancer efficacy and promising safety of phospho-NSAIDs in preclinical models of breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer, suggesting further evaluation as anticancer agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7617-7627
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemotherapeutic properties of phospho-nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a new class of anticancer compounds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this