Statins, among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide, are cholesterol-lowering agents used to manage and prevent cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. Recently, a multifaceted action in different physiological and pathological conditions has been also proposed for statins, beyond anti-inflammation and neuroprotection. Statins have been shown to act through cholesterol-dependent and -independent mechanisms and are able to affect several tissue functions and modulate specific signal transduction pathways that could account for statin pleiotropic effects. Typically, statins are prescribed in middle-aged or elderly patients in a therapeutic regimen covering a long life span during which metabolic processes, aging, and concomitant novel diseases, including cancer, could occur. In this context, safety, toxicity, interaction with other drugs, and the state of health have to be taken into account in subjects treated with statins. Some evidence has shown a dichotomous effect of statins with either cancer-inhibiting or -promoting effects. To date, clinical trials failed to demonstrate a reduced cancer occurrence in statin users and no sufficient data are available to define the long-term effects of statin use over a period of 10 years. Moreover, results from clinical trials performed to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of statins in cancer did not suggest statin use as chemotherapeutic or adjuvant agents. Here, we reviewed the pharmacology of the statins, providing a comprehensive update of the current knowledge of their effects on tissues, biological processes, and pathological conditions, and we dissected the disappointing evidence on the possible future use of statin-based drugs in cancer therapy. © 2012 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

Pharmacological actions of statins: A critical appraisal in the management of cancer

Gazzerro P.;Gangemi G.;Malfitano A. M.;Ciaglia E.;Pisanti S.;
2012

Abstract

Statins, among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide, are cholesterol-lowering agents used to manage and prevent cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. Recently, a multifaceted action in different physiological and pathological conditions has been also proposed for statins, beyond anti-inflammation and neuroprotection. Statins have been shown to act through cholesterol-dependent and -independent mechanisms and are able to affect several tissue functions and modulate specific signal transduction pathways that could account for statin pleiotropic effects. Typically, statins are prescribed in middle-aged or elderly patients in a therapeutic regimen covering a long life span during which metabolic processes, aging, and concomitant novel diseases, including cancer, could occur. In this context, safety, toxicity, interaction with other drugs, and the state of health have to be taken into account in subjects treated with statins. Some evidence has shown a dichotomous effect of statins with either cancer-inhibiting or -promoting effects. To date, clinical trials failed to demonstrate a reduced cancer occurrence in statin users and no sufficient data are available to define the long-term effects of statin use over a period of 10 years. Moreover, results from clinical trials performed to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of statins in cancer did not suggest statin use as chemotherapeutic or adjuvant agents. Here, we reviewed the pharmacology of the statins, providing a comprehensive update of the current knowledge of their effects on tissues, biological processes, and pathological conditions, and we dissected the disappointing evidence on the possible future use of statin-based drugs in cancer therapy. © 2012 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/879764
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