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J Adv Pract Oncol. 2016 Mar;7(2):181-187. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Novel Uses for Lipid-Lowering Agents.

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Baptist Health Lexington, Lexington, Kentucky; University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado.


Statin use leads to a reduction in the downstream products of the mevalonate pathway. Knowledge of this pathway has led scientists to investigate the role of statins in cancer prevention and treatment. Statins appear to possess a variety of pleiotropic effects, including inhibition of cell proliferation; enhanced apoptosis; and modulation of inflammation, endothelial function, and angiogenesis. In cancer specifically, experimental studies have found that statins may induce cancer cell apoptosis and inhibit tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. These mechanisms have steered researchers into evaluating the possible benefit of statins in the prevention and treatment of malignancies. This review will discuss the literature supporting the use of statins to prevent and treat cancer.


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