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Cancer Lett. 2005 Jun 28;224(2):203-12. Epub 2004 Dec 13.

Clinical usage of hypolipidemic and antidiabetic drugs in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

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Laboratory of Oncoendocrinology, Prof. N. N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, Pesochny, St Petersburg 197758, Russian Federation.


Factors predisposing hormone-dependent tissues to the development of tumors coincide, at least partly, with hormonal-metabolic promoters (like insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, visceral obesity, etc.) of other main non-communicable diseases. This important knowledge poses the question of whether the same approach which is applied for prevention/treatment of a metabolic syndrome and the associated endocrine disorders might also be used in preventive and therapeutic oncology. Whereas an answer to this question remains controversial and is based mainly on experimental evidence, there is accumulating clinical data suggesting a practical significance of such a strategy, even though it is not to be considered as directly cytostatic. Among the many drugs under discussion, three groups of medicines (statins, antidiabetic biguanides, and thiazolidinediones) are the most attractive. The concept of metabolic rehabilitation is proposed and used practically in an adjuvant setting for the correction of the above-mentioned endocrine-metabolic disorders commonly found in cancer patients. The current use and aim of this approach is to improve the survival of patients and limit cancer progression. Nonetheless, it also appears potentially useful as a neoadjuvant therapy as well as a prophylactic treatment earlier in life for specific groups of people with hormone-associated enhanced oncological risk. It seems possible that certain hypolipidemic and antidiabetic medicines with pleiotropic effects might be combined with traditional antisteroid prevention/therapeutic approaches in routine clinical situations as well as for overcoming resistance to standard cancer hormonal therapies including receptor-negative cases. Characteristic at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is an epidemic of diabetes and obesity, which might further increase the incidence of certain cancers. This makes it timely to apply hypolipidemic and antidiabetic drugs (in combination with reasonable dieting, increased physical fitness, and an in-depth knowledge of drug-gene interactions) as an approach warranting further study.

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