Cholesterol drug may stop breast cancer

The fight against breast cancer continues. Researchers from the University of Missouri reveal a cholesterol-reducing drug may help destroy cancer cells and prevent tumor growth in hormone-dependent breast cancers, which constitute most breast cancer types today.

Published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, the new study focused on cholesterol that cancer cells produce. Today, many breast cancer treatments target estrogen as a way to starve the cancer cells. However, this only works temporarily until the cancers build a resistance to the anti-hormone drugs used.

Scientists honed in on attacking the cancer cells through their cholesterol pathways by giving human breast cancer cells a cholesterol inhibitor drug. The drug helped stop the growth of the breast cancer cells and often triggered the death of the cancer cells as well. The drug also terminated an estrogen receptor, an important protein that aids cancer cell development. These results worked in mice with breast cancer as well.

These findings may lead to a drug that can tackle both high cholesterol and breast cancer. However, more research is needed before the treatment develops.

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