Navigation Links
Why cholesterol-lowering statins might treat cancer
Date:1/19/2012

Cholesterol-lowering statins seem to keep breast cancer at bay in some patients. Now researchers reporting in the January 20th issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, provide clues about how statins might yield those unexpected benefits. The findings also suggest that mutations in a single gene could be used to identify tumors likely to respond to statin therapy.

"The data raises the possibility that we might identify subsets of patients whose tumors may respond to statins," said Carol Prives of Columbia University. "Of course we can't make any definitive conclusions until we know more."

Prives said that a clinical trial of statins in breast cancer based on the mutation status of the tumor suppressor, p53, may be in order. The p53 tumor suppressor acts to regulate many aspects of cell proliferation, generally putting the brake on uncontrolled growth.

More than half of all human cancers carry mutations in the p53 gene. Many of these mutations don't simply disrupt the normal function of p53, they also endow p53 with new functions that promote, instead of inhibit, cancer formation. Mice lacking p53 develop cancer and die, Prives explained, but mice carrying tumor-derived mutant forms of the p53 gene suffer from more aggressive disease. What these mutant forms of p53 are actually doing is a big question in cancer research.

Prives' team designed experiments to sort this mystery out. By studying cancer cells grown in an artificial system that resembles the three-dimensional structures in the human breast, the researchers learned that cells carrying mutant p53 grow in a disorganized and invasive manner, characteristic of human breast cancers. When the researchers lowered the levels of mutant p53, the 3D cell cultures grew more normally.

Further studies, led by study first author William Freed-Pastor, traced the structural changes to a cholesterol-building pathway (called the mevalonate pathway). This is the same pathway targeted by cholesterol-lowering statins. When the mutant p53 cells were treated with statins, they stopped their disorganized, invasive growth, and in some cases, even died. Importantly, the effects of the drugs were erased when intermediates of the mevalonate pathway were added back in, additional proof that the drug wasn't working in some other, off-target way.

With collaborators in Norway, Prives and Freed-Pastor analyzed breast cancer tissue taken from patients to find that mutations in p53 and elevated activity of mevalonate pathway genes tend to go together in human tumors too. While those findings are encouraging that the cell culture findings may have clinical relevance, Prives emphasizes that it will take considerably more work to confirm that.

"It is what it is," she says. "There are great implications, but nothing clinical yet. Perhaps one could do a clinical trial, and that may support these findings, or it may be more complicated."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Lyons
elyons@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce mortality for influenza patients
2. Cholesterol-lowering medication accelerates depletion of plaque in arteries
3. Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Safe for Long-Term Use, Study Finds
4. Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help prevent recurrent strokes in younger people
5. Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model
6. Statins May Boost Diabetes Risk in Older Women
7. Statins may increase risk of interstitial lung abnormalities in smokers
8. Could Statins Help Those Hospitalized With Flu?
9. Statins may reduce mortality in patients hospitalized with influenza
10. High Doses of Statins Tied to Less Arterial Plaque in Study
11. Statins Dont Raise Risk of Brain Bleeds After Stroke: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Military Connection ... recently denied entry to the JFK Virgin Atlantic lounge. , Bensko is no ... wheelchair six years ago, Bensko dedicated her life to supporting our wounded veterans. A ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Georgia State University will host the First ... two-day conference is focused on advancing scientific knowledge about the aggressive triple negative ... racial breast cancer-related disparities. The conference theme is “Illuminating Actionable Biology.” , Conference ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... American Farmer, will feature Chr. Hansen, Inc (CHR Hansen) ... fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. Check your local ... Hansen in Denmark in 1874 after a groundbreaking discovery of how to industrialize enzymes. ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Radabaugh ... planning to families and business owners in North Central West Virginia, is embarking ... services to differently abled residents in the region. , The Stepping Stones organization ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Groove Ring is excited ... about their high performance silicon wedding bands and all-purpose rings. Whether you’re an athlete, ... silicone rings designed just for you. , From the rock face to the auto ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/16/2017)... Corp. is voluntarily performing a worldwide field correction of certain Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumps ... ... CS100i IABP ... 0998-UC-0446HXX; 0998-UC-0479HXX 0998-00-3013-XX;  0998-UC-3013-XX 0998-00-3023-XX;  0998-UC-3023-XX ... This field correction also applies to any System 98 or ...
(Date:6/14/2017)...  In 2016, Embodied Labs took top ... and came away with $25,000 in seed-fund investment. Embodied ... as "entering the life of another" and by the ... to medical professionals in an entirely new dimension." Building ... finalist for the Department of Education,s EdSimChallenge, where they ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... BESSEMER, Ala. , June 9, 2017  Shane K. Burchfield, ... Member recognized for excellence as a Podiatrist in Alabama ... of Podiatry at Family First Foot Care. He brings over 20 ... sports medicine, pain management and healthcare, to his role. ... Family First Foot Care, PC is pleased to welcome ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: