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Journal Articles Digestive and Liver Disease Year : 2013

Statins: Perspectives in cancer therapeutics.


Virtually any cell type in a mammalian organism uses Acetyl CoA to yield mevalonate, through the activity of the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase enzyme and, ultimately, cholesterol. Statins have long and quite successfully been used as cholesterol lowering drugs. They reversibly inhibit the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase activity, which is rate limiting in the early steps of the cholesterol synthesis pathway. In addition to these effects, it has also been amply shown that statins may efficiently trigger cancer cell apoptosis, making them a plausible therapeutic option for the treatment of cancer. Whether statins may prevent cancer occurrence is a matter of debate and an unanswered question; undoubtedly experimental models have clearly demonstrated the potential of statins as direct cytotoxic agents, which can reduce tumour development or metastasis spread, even more so when combined with cytotoxic drugs. Until now, however, only few data in humans support the idea that statins could rightfully belong to the group of anticancer drugs. Nevertheless, as cancer cell metabolism is being thoroughly revisited, the mevalonate pathway has recently been reported as truly oncogenic, presenting the attractive possibility that mevalonate pathway inhibitors, such as statins, may join the ranks of anticancer drugs.


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inserm-00815063 , version 1 (18-04-2013)



Corcos Laurent, Catherine Le Jossic‐corcos. Statins: Perspectives in cancer therapeutics.. Digestive and Liver Disease, 2013, Mars (9), epub ahead of print. ⟨10.1016/j.dld.2013.02.002⟩. ⟨inserm-00815063⟩
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