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Cancer Biol Ther. 2013 Feb;14(2):92-4. doi: 10.4161/cbt.23290. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Statins impair glucose uptake in tumor cells.

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Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD USA.


Statins play a pivotal role in lowering the blood cholesterol level, which is critical for patients with hypercholesterolemia. In addition to its benefits in cardiovascular protection, statins have been found to be useful in several other clinical conditions, including cancer. In a recent report that appeared in Neoplasia, Malenda et al., have demonstrated that statins inhibit glucose uptake in cancer cells. Using multiple statins and glucose analogs ( ( 18) FDG and 6-NBDG) they showed that inhibition of cholesterol synthesis underlies the blockade of glucose uptake in several cancer cell lines. Further, based on an exploratory clinical study, they also showed that diagnostic PET-CT imaging in patients treated for hypercholesterolemia was affected due to statin-mediated inhibition of glucose uptake. As the finding is based on the data from a single patient (out of four), it seems that (1) the need for a large cohort study and (2) the detailed characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying such biological effects would be justified.


FDG; GLUT1; PET imaging; cancer; cholesterol; glucose uptake; statins

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