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Int J Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;123(5):983-90. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23718.

Combination regimen with statins and NSAIDs: a promising strategy for cancer chemoprevention.

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Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


Statins and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed for lowering cholesterol and anti-inflammation, respectively. Recently, their potential roles as cancer chemopreventive agents have been subject to intensive studies. Human trials have not provided conclusive results on the protective effects of statins against different cancers, while more convincing results have been observed for cancer preventive effects of NSAIDs, especially on colorectal cancer. A promising strategy to enhance the cancer preventive efficacy of statins and NSAIDs is to use them in combination, which may produce synergy and lower the dose required for each agent. This strategy is of particular interest for potential use of low doses of statins and NSAIDs on a long-term basis for cancer chemoprevention; increased risks for gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects associated with the use of NSAIDs have been observed in colorectal cancer chemopreventive trials. This article reviews the evidence for the cancer preventive actions of statins and NSAIDs, as well as their possible synergistic action and the mechanisms involved.

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