Meloxicam inhibits the growth of oral cancer caused by benzopiren

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illustration by Tribun Manado

Oral squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer found in the oral cavity with an incidence of 9.2%. The causes of cavity cancer are very complex, and one of the triggering factors is exposure to chemicals or carcinogens. Benzopirene is a carcinogenic substance that is commonly found in cigarette, car fumes, smoking food. Long-term exposure to chemicals in the oral cavity such as benzopyrene can cause gene changes in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, leading to oral cancer.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are drugs that are given as pain relievers in cancer patients because they can provide analgesic, anti-inflammatory effects, and are economically affordable. Meloxicam is one of the NSAIDs given to cancer patients. This drug works by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX-2), which plays an essential role in the onset of pain. Several studies have shown that NSAIDs have the potential to prevent the development and growth of cancer cells.

Research on the potential of meloxicam to inhibit the development of oral cancer has been carried out. The study was conducted using benzopyrene to condition oral cancer in experimental animals, then analyzed the expression of p53, Ras, COX-2, the level of apoptosis and the rate of proliferation. After that, the experimental animals were given meloxicam with three different doses once a day for 60 days. The results obtained showed that the increase in the dose of meloxicam was proportional to the increase in p53 expression and the rate of apoptosis, inversely proportional to the expression of Ras, COX-2 and the rate of proliferation. The conclusion that can be drawn is meloxicam can inhibit the growth of oral cancer cells by increasing apoptosis and inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells.

The study explains the possible mechanism of meloxicam action by penetrating hydrophobic channels that block arachidonate entry at the active site of COX-2. Thus, meloxicam affects cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, expression of p53, Ras and COX-2 in oral cancer caused by benzopyrene.

Author: Dr. Ira Arundina, drg., M.Si., And Meircurius Dwi Condro Surboyo, drg., M.Kes


Ira Arundina, Theresia Indah Budhi, Meircurius Dwi Condro Surboyo. (2020). Meloxicam Inhibit the Growth of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Induced by Benzopyrenes. Malaysian Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences; 16 (SUPP4): 22-25.

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