United States: A major development conducted by a bunch of scientists have revolutionized the costly cancer treatment, by finding that certain statin, commonly utilized for cholesterol management can cheaply prevent the risk of cancer. 

The study, led by the Mass General Cancer Center, indicates that statins, a group of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels, could potentially prevent the development of specific types of cancer linked to inflammation in the body. 

The findings of the research were made public after publishing in the journal Nature Communications. 

Demehri has been working as a principal investigator at the Center for Cancer Immunology and Cutaneous Biology Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital and is also an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and was the lead study author. 

He said, “We investigated the mechanism by which environmental toxins drive the initiation of cancer-prone chronic inflammation in the skin and pancreas. Furthermore, we examined safe and effective therapies to block this pathway in order to suppress chronic inflammation and its cancer aftermath,” as the New York Post reported. 

Affordable Cancer Prevention Solution by Common Cholesterol Drug. Credit | Getty Images
Affordable Cancer Prevention Solution by Common Cholesterol Drug. Credit | Getty Images

Key Findings of the Study 

According to the study authors, chronic inflammation accounts for more than 20 percent of cancer cases globally, and almost 40 million Americans currently use statins. 

Moreover, as statins are a common and affordable drug, the study could significantly reduce the risk of cancer development by suppressing chronic inflammation. 

The study involved examining human tissue samples, animal models, and epidemiological data. 

Pathways to Cancer Development 

The research revealed that when cells are exposed to chemical irritants and allergens, two pathways become activated, leading to the production of a specific protein that causes inflammation in the skin and pancreas. 

Affordable Cancer Prevention Solution by Common Cholesterol Drug. Credit | Canva
Affordable Cancer Prevention Solution by Common Cholesterol Drug. Credit | Canva

This inflammation can potentially lead to cancer due to the production of free radicals. 

Researchers also found that a specific type of statin, known as pitavastatin, could stop the activation of the cancer protein by inhibiting a particular signal. 

Additionally, for mice, the statin reduced inflammation caused by exposure to environmental toxins, effectively preventing inflammation-mediated pancreatic cancer. 

Future Research Directions 

In future studies, researchers aim to explore other ways in which statins can help in combating inflammation that leads to cancer. 

Dr. Demehri stated, “Next, we aim to further examine the impact of statins in preventing cancer development in chronic inflammation in the liver and gastrointestinal tract and to identify other novel, therapeutic approaches to suppress cancer-prone chronic inflammation.” 

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