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Nat Rev Cancer. 2005 Dec;5(12):930-42.

Statins and cancer prevention.

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Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, 720 Harrison Avenue DOB 801A, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Randomized controlled trials for preventing cardiovascular disease indicated that statins had provocative and unexpected benefits for reducing colorectal cancer and melanoma. These findings have led to the intensive study of statins in cancer prevention, including recent, large population-based studies showing statin-associated reductions in overall, colorectal and prostate cancer. Understanding the complex cellular effects (for example, on angiogenesis and inflammation) and the underlying molecular mechanisms of statins (for example, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A (HMG-CoA) reductase-dependent processes that involve geranylgeranylation of Rho proteins, and HMG-CoA-independent processes that involve lymphocyte-function-associated antigen 1) will advance the development of molecularly targeted agents for preventing cancer. This understanding might also help the development of drugs for other ageing-related diseases with interrelated molecular pathways.

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