Research ArticleCancer

Statins enhance efficacy of venetoclax in blood cancers

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Science Translational Medicine  13 Jun 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 445, eaaq1240
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaq1240

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Yet another health benefit of statins

Statins, common drugs used for the treatment of high cholesterol, may have found another potential application. In addition to their effects on the cholesterol pathway, statins can also inhibit the activity of BCL2 and related proteins, which interfere with apoptosis in many cancer types. In light of this connection, Lee et al. examined the effects of statins on several types of leukemias and lymphomas. The authors determined that statins prime cancer cells for apoptosis and work in synergy with drugs such as venetoclax, an inhibitor of BCL2. In addition to demonstrating this synergy in mouse models, the authors provided data from three studies of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, showing that patients receiving statins had better clinical responses to venetoclax.