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Heart Drug Halves Cancer Risk

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-16

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In a study of 500,000 US veterans, cholesterol lowering medications known as statins were shown to reduce the risk of seven different cancers by half.

Being acclaimed as wonder drugs akin to the likes of aspirin (which doctors suggest reduces the risk of heart attack), statins were associated with a lowered risk for colon, breast, liver, prostate, lung, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.

"To my knowledge, statins are one of the best cancer prevention agents I have come across," said Dr. Vikas Khurana, associate program director of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Training Program at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Statins are effective by inhibiting the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, which regulates the pathways that play a role in cancer development.

While the results are still very preliminary, further research will be done and experts hope the FDA will approve the drugs soon.

"These findings are preliminary but interesting and intriguing," said Dr. Durado Brooks, director for colorectal and prostate cancer at the American Cancer Society.

"But it's going to require some more support."

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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