Statins are potential anticancerous agents (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Abdullah K. Altwairgi
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: January 20, 2015
  • Pages: 1019-1039
Metrics: Total Views: 0 (Spandidos Publications: | PMC Statistics: )
Total PDF Downloads: 0 (Spandidos Publications: | PMC Statistics: )


Statins are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR), which is a rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway. The pleiotropic effects of statins may be mediated by the inhibition of downstream products such as small GTP-binding proteins, Rho, Ras and Rac whose localization and function are dependent on isoprenylation. Preclinical studies of statins in different cancer cell lines and animal models showed antiproliferative, pro‑apoptotic and anti-invasive effects. Notably, statins showed targeted action in cancerous cell lines compared to normal cells. Previous studies have also shown the synergistic effects of statins with chemotherapeutic agents and radiotherapy. This effect of statins was also observed in chemotherapeutic-resistant tumors. Statins were reported to sensitize the cells to radiation by arresting them in the late G1 phase of the cell cycle. Similarly, population-based studies also demonstrated a chemopreventive and survival benefit of statins in various types of cancers. However, this benefit has yet to be proven in clinical trials. The inter-individual variation in response to statins may be contributed to many genetic and non-genetic factors, including single-nucleotide polymorphisms in HMGCR gene and the overexpression of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1, which was reported to reduce HMGCR enzyme activity. However, more studies with large phase III randomized controlled trials in cancer patients should be conducted to establish the effect of statins in cancer prevention and treatment.
View Figures
View References

Related Articles

Journal Cover

Volume 33 Issue 3

Print ISSN: 1021-335X
Online ISSN:1791-2431

Sign up for eToc alerts

Recommend to Library

Copy and paste a formatted citation
Spandidos Publications style
Altwairgi AK: Statins are potential anticancerous agents (Review). Oncol Rep 33: 1019-1039, 2015
Altwairgi, A.K. (2015). Statins are potential anticancerous agents (Review). Oncology Reports, 33, 1019-1039.
Altwairgi, A. K."Statins are potential anticancerous agents (Review)". Oncology Reports 33.3 (2015): 1019-1039.
Altwairgi, A. K."Statins are potential anticancerous agents (Review)". Oncology Reports 33, no. 3 (2015): 1019-1039.