Statins are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-methylglutaryl (HMG) CoA reductase. They exhibit effects beyond cholesterol reduction, including anticancer activity. This review presents the effects of statins in vitro and their possible molecular anticancer mechanisms and critically discusses the data regarding the role of statins in cancer prevention. Finally, this review focuses on the use of statins combined with other chemotherapeutics to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments. Despite rare and inconclusive clinical data, the preclinical results strongly suggest that such combined treatment could be a promising new strategy for the treatment of certain tumor types.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.