Cholesterol controlling drugs can impede breast cancer dells
High cholesterol is one of the very common problems among the women population and the most common drug used to control cholesterol is statin. While the cholesterol controlling properties of statins is well known, it has now come to light that these drugs can also help in curbing the growth of certain breast cancer cells. Scientists, under the leadership of Carol Prives from Columbia University New York, have found that when statins were used to treat breast cancer that carried mutant p53, the growth of cancer cells was stunted. In some other cases, it was found that the cells no longer grew in a haphazard manner, which means that the growth was curbed. The scientists have said that the finding is still in a very basic stage and the treatment can be used for clinical practice only after a lot of research.
What the researchers say
Researchers have said that although the research needs a lot of study, they have found strong suggestions that statins are effective against cancer cells. Nevertheless, the probability of positive results is very high. The researchers further said that the implications of the study are great, although nothing is clinical yet.
Significance of p53 mutant
P53 is a very significant gene in the body. It has been seen that when experiments were conducted on mice, the creatures that did not have p53 fell prey to cancer. This gene stops uncontrolled growth of tumors by acting as a tumor suppressant. This is essential to control tumor growth because tumors grow without control. However, when this gene is mutated, they encourage uncontrolled growth of cells. They cause a disruption in the normal function of the gene. Although scientists are not yet aware of what exactly the operational procedure of p53 gene is, it is known that it aids cancer growth. The researchers found that when the cells containing p53 mutant was removed from the tumor, the cells began to grow in a more organized manner. Scientists have not found the pathway in which structural changes occur when cells grow haphazardly.
Role of statins in treatment
Scientists figured out that the pathway of growth of cancer cells with p53 mutant is similar to the manner in which cholesterol cells grow. This led them to the trying out the effectiveness of statins in controlling the growth of these cancer cells. The initial results hold a lot of promise and further research should fine tune the treatment of breast cancer using statins.