"Statins, drugs that are widely used to lower cholesterol levels, block a key step in the mevalonate pathway," Symons said. "The new results may well give new momentum to the use of statins as anti-cancer agents."
Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, is also intrigued by the potential of the new findings.
"This paper addresses a possible new target for therapeutic agents based on a well-known tumor suppressor gene that is common in many cancers," Bernik said. "Identifying novel pathways that lead to tumor formation is the first step to developing new drugs that can specifically target some of the complex mechanisms that contribute to the development of cancer," she pointed out.
"This work and other projects like this raise the hope that we will one day be able to cure cancers on a molecular level," Bernik said.
Learn more about how breast cancer is treated at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.
SOURCES: Carol Prives, Ph.D., DaCosta Professor of Biology and chair, department of biological sciences at Columbia University, New York City; Marc Symons, Ph.D., investigator, Center for Oncology and Cell Biology, Feinstein Institute of Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; Stephanie Bernik, M.D., chief, surgical oncology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Jan. 20, 2012, Cell
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