Open Access Research article

Celecoxib decreases prostaglandin E2 concentrations in nipple aspirate fluid from high risk postmenopausal women and women with breast cancer

Edward R Sauter1*, Wenyi Qin1, Lisa Schlatter1, John E Hewett2 and John T Flynn3

Author Affiliations

1 Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA

2 Biostatistics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA

3 Physiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2006, 6:248  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-248

Published: 18 October 2006



Celecoxib inhibits PGE2 production in cancerous tissue. We previously reported that PGE2 levels in nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) and plasma were not decreased in women at increased breast cancer risk who received celecoxib 200 mg twice daily (bid). The endpoints of the current study were to determine if a short course of celecoxib 400 mg bid would decrease PGE2 levels in women 1) at increased breast cancer risk, and 2) with established breast cancer.


NAF and plasma samples were collected before, 2 weeks after taking celecoxib 400 mg bid, and two weeks after washout from 26 women who were at increased breast cancer risk. From 13 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer, NAF from the incident breast and plasma were collected before and on average 2 weeks after taking celecoxib. Additionally, in nine of the 13 women with breast cancer, NAF was collected from the contralateral breast.


No consistent change in NAF or plasma PGE2 levels was noted in high risk premenopausal women. NAF PGE2 levels decreased after celecoxib administration in postmenopausal high risk women (p = 0.02), and in both the NAF (p = 0.02) and plasma (p = 0.03) of women with breast cancer.


Celecoxib 400 mg bid taken on average for 2 weeks significantly decreased NAF, but not plasma, PGE2 levels in postmenopausal high risk women, and decreased both NAF and plasma PGE2 levels in women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. PGE2 levels may predict celecoxib breast cancer prevention and treatment efficacy. Our observations are preliminary, and larger studies to confirm and extend these findings are warranted.