Statins significantly reduce the likelihood of breast cancer returning

Statins significantly reduce the likelihood of breast cancer returning

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Study Finds: Statins Halve Return Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer threatens the health of countless women worldwide. For this reason, medical professionals are looking for new ways and means to prevent the disease or to help people to overcome the disease. Researchers have now found that so-called statins can prevent the return of breast cancer.

Breast cancer kills more women every year than any other cancer in the world. For this reason, we urgently need more effective therapies and medications to prevent the development, spread and return of breast cancer. Scientists found in an investigation that prescribed statins can help prevent return if breast cancer has already been defeated. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Breast Cancer Research".

Statins can halve the risk of cancer return
Up to 80 percent of breast cancer cases are “ER positive”. In these cases, there are more estrogen receptors (ER) than normal breast cells. These are particularly sensitive to estrogen. It is estimated that up to 40,000 women with ER-positive breast cancer are diagnosed each year, the authors explain. In some cases, patients do not respond to standard hormone blocking therapies designed to affect estrogen production. But in the new study, the researchers discovered that certain types of breast cancer use cholesterol to produce a molecule that then produces 25-HC.

The so-called 25-HC has the same effect as estrogen, this fact could explain the cancer's resistance to therapy, the doctors suspect. Statins for lowering cholesterol can then be used in such patients. This halves the likelihood that the disease will return in the next ten years, the experts say.

Cancer cells use the cholesterol molecule to mimic estrogen
In the course of the treatment of so-called ER-positive breast cancer, which is reinforced by estrogen, the cancer often becomes resistant to standard hormone therapy, the doctors explain. Our research has shown that these cancer cells can use a cholesterol molecule to mimic estrogen. In this way, the disease can continue to grow even without estrogen, explains senior researcher Dr. Lesley-Ann Martin. Testing the tumor for traces of 25-HC or enzymes involved in its formation can help identify which patients are more likely to develop resistance later, the author adds. Appropriate treatment can be initiated based on this prognosis.

Cholesterol is an important molecule that helps to build and maintain the body's membranes. It also produces a number of hormones. We get cholesterol from our food. But our body also produces its own cholesterol through a process called cholesterol biosynthesis, the scientists add.

Effective results can improve current treatment methods
With breast cancer cells grown in the laboratory, the team of scientists led by Dr. Martin explains the processes that cause women with ER-positive breast cancer to relapse while taking aromatase inhibitors. The researchers found that cholesterol biosynthesis enabled the cells to produce "fuel" for the disease. Blocking parts of the cholesterol production slows the growth of cancer cells by 30 to 50 percent. The new research results offer an important opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the treatments most commonly used today, the experts say. (as)

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Video: JACC: Statins for Women with Breast Cancer (June 2022).