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Statins could help treat breast cancer

Statins could help treat breast cancer
23rd January 2012

Statins could be used as part of a treatment process for some patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Scientists have found that statins may be beneficial in the treatment of women with breast cancer who have a specific gene mutation called p53.

The gene p53 is normally a cancer suppressor, but when mutated it can promote cancer and it is thought that as many as half of all people carry the mutated version.

New research led by Carol Prives of Columbia University seemed to suggest that the use of statins reduced the growth rate of breast cancer cells with the mutant p53 gene.

"The data raises the possibility that we might identify subsets of patients whose tumours may respond to statins," she explained.

"Of course we can't make any definitive conclusions until we know more."

The research comes just days after a study at the University of Toronto found that statins could also be used to help treat atherosclerotic lesions.

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