Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a potential pharmacologic target for the prevention of various malignancies, including prostate cancer. We conducted a randomized, double-blind trial to examine the effect of celecoxib on drug-specific biomarkers from prostate tissue obtained at prostatectomy.Patients with localized prostate cancer and Gleason sum > or = 7, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) > or = 15 ng/mL, clinical stage T2b or greater, or any combination with greater than 45% risk of capsular penetration were randomly assigned to celecoxib 400 mg by mouth twice daily or placebo for 4 to 6 weeks before prostatectomy. The primary end point was the difference in prostatic prostaglandin levels between the two groups. Secondary end points were differences in COX-1 and -2 expressions; oxidized DNA bases; and markers of proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis. Tissue celecoxib concentrations also were measured. Tertiary end points were drug safety and compliance.Seventy-three patients consented, and 64 were randomly assigned and included in the intention-to-treat analysis. There were no treatment differences in any of the primary or secondary outcomes. Multivariable regression revealed that tumor tissue had significantly lower COX-2 expression than benign prostatic tissue (P = .01) and significantly higher levels of the proliferation marker Ki-67 (P < .0001). Celecoxib was measurable in prostate tissue of patients on treatment, demonstrating that celecoxib reached its target. Celecoxib was safe and resulted in only grade 1 toxicities.Treatment with 4 to 6 weeks of celecoxib had no effect on intermediate biomarkers of prostate carcinogenesis, despite the achievement of measurable tissue levels. We caution against using celecoxib 400 mg twice daily as a preventive agent for prostate cancer in additional studies.