Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(12):1795-1802. doi:10.7150/ijms.47546 This issue

Research Paper

Celecoxib combined with salirasib strongly inhibits pancreatic cancer cells in 2D and 3D cultures

Dongli Li1,2, Yuran Ma1, Wenfeng Liu1, Xiang Ren1, Min Chen1, Xuetao Xu1, Zhaojun Sheng1, Kun Zhang1,2, Renping Zhou3, Susan Goodin4, Xi Zheng1,3✉

1. School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen city, 529020, China.
2. International Healthcare Innovation Institute (Jiangmen), Jiangmen city, Guangdong Province 529020, China.
3. Department of Chemical Biology, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
4. Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Li D, Ma Y, Liu W, Ren X, Chen M, Xu X, Sheng Z, Zhang K, Zhou R, Goodin S, Zheng X. Celecoxib combined with salirasib strongly inhibits pancreatic cancer cells in 2D and 3D cultures. Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(12):1795-1802. doi:10.7150/ijms.47546. Available from

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Background/Aim: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is a highly malignant tumor. Synergistic combinations of anticancer agents for the effective treatment of pancreatic cancer patients are urgently needed. Here, we investigated the combined effect of celecoxib (CEL) and salirasib (SAL) on pancreatic cancer cells.

Methods: Cell viability and apoptosis were measured by the trypan blue assay, three-dimensional cultures, propidium iodide staining, and caspase-3 assay. NF-κB activation and the protein levels of Akt, pAkt, and Bcl-2 were determined by the luciferase reporter assay and western blot.

Results: Co-treatment with CEL and SAL had stronger effects on decreasing cell viability and inducing apoptosis in Panc-1 cells as compared with each agent individually. This combination strongly inhibited NF-κB activity and reduced pAkt and Bcl-2 levels in Panc-1 cells.

Conclusion: SAL in combination with CEL may represent a new approach for effective inhibition of pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, 3D cultures, celecoxib, salirasib, NF-κB.