STATINS may help beat colon cancer, experts claim.
The cheap pills commonly used by millions to lower cholesterol levels have been shown to stop tumor growth in lab tests.
Researchers claim the ‘exciting’ breakthrough could help in a quarter of cases, benefiting around 10,000 Britons every year.
Four out of five colorectal cancers are due to a mutation in the APC gene, which controls cell growth and triggers tumor formation.
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London tested more than 1,200 already approved drugs on mutant cancer cells.
The team found three statins – lovostatin, mevastatin and simvastatin – all of which served to kill tumors.
Although cholesterol-lowering drugs do not cure the disease, they may help stop the cancer from spreading and becoming fatal.
Every year 40,000 Britons are diagnosed with colon cancer, including Sun writer Dame Deborah James.
The lead researcher Dr. Sarah Martin, from the Center of Cancer Cell & Molecular Biology at Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL, said: “This is a very exciting development.
“If statins could stop the progression of colorectal cancer, that would be very good news for patients.”
The results are published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology.
Currently, the only treatment for colorectal cancer is surgery and chemotherapy, which have toxic side effects.
dr Martin added: “If we could prescribe statins as an effective treatment for colon cancer, it means that patients could likely take them for some time, which would significantly prolong their lives and alter their quality of life during treatment.”
“Statins can’t cure cancer, but we’re confident they can reduce the tumor so it doesn’t spread or grow back.”
More research is now needed to find out which patients would benefit the most.
Lynn Dunn, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Bowel Research UK, which helped fund the study, said: “The encouraging results… on statins and colorectal cancer are another fantastic endorsement of our research funding strategy.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5517351/common-pills-stop-bowel-cancer-turning-fatal/ Ordinary 2p-a-day pills could prevent cancer from becoming deadly, experts claim