Statins Could Lower Ovarian Cancer Riskadmin
New research funded by Cancer Research UK suggests that women who take statins in the long term could be less likely to develop ovarian cancer, according to Technology Networks.
Statins are a class of drugs often prescribed by doctors to help lower cholesterol level in the blood. The researchers found that statins may protect against the development of ovarian cancer by inducing apoptosis and stopping tumors from growing.
Researchers based at the University of Bristol looked at 63,347 women between the ages of 20 and 100 years old, 22,406 of whom had ovarian cancer. An additional 31,448 women who carried the BRCA1/2 gene were also examined, 3,887 of whom had ovarian cancer. Their findings suggest that long-term statin use could provide an estimated 40% reduction in ovarian cancer risk in the general population, “although the estimate comes from looking at gene variation rather than statins themselves, and the exact mechanism by which these genes are associated with lower ovarian cancer risk is unclear,” Technology Networks reports.
“Our findings open up the possibility of repurposing a cheap drug to help prevent ovarian cancer – especially in women who are at a high risk,” Professor Richard Martin from the University of Bristol said. “It’s incredibly interesting that women whose bodies naturally inhibit the enzyme targeted by statins have a lower risk of ovarian cancer, but we don’t recommend anyone rushes to take statins specifically to reduce ovarian cancer risk because of this study. It’s a promising result and I hope it sparks more research and trials into statins to demonstrate conclusively whether or not there’s a benefit.”