Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene test shows who could benefit from statins to reduce colon cancer risk

Date:
April 23, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
A genetic test can help determine in which patients cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might have the most benefit in also reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, a new study finds.

Stephen Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System

A genetic test can help determine in which patients cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might have the most benefit in also reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.

The researchers had previously shown that statins -- which 25 million people worldwide take each day to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease -- can cut risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent. But statins do not appear to work equally well for everyone in reducing either colorectal cancer or cardiovascular disease risk.

The new study, which appears in the May 1 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, found a genetic variant affects how statins control both colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.

"Our research is the first step towards personalized prevention. Some people benefit substantially more from statins than others -- for both cholesterol lowering and colorectal cancer prevention. Now we have identified a genetic test that can show who's likely to benefit most from this drug," says senior study author Stephen Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., director of cancer prevention and control at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study was led by Gruber, Steven M. Lipkin, M.D., Ph.D., from Weill Cornell Medical College; Gad Rennert, M.D., Ph.D., from Carmel Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel; and Levy Kopelovich, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute.

The team looked at 2,138 people in Northern Israel who were diagnosed with colon cancer and 2,049 similar people without colon cancer. All participants were asked about statin use for controlling cholesterol. Statins are not currently used to prevent colorectal cancer.

In addition, the researchers took blood samples from all study participants and analyzed the genes. They found that the gene targeted by statins, HMGCR, is the same gene that predicts the drug's benefit for preventing colorectal cancer. Further, there are two versions of HMGCR -- a long version and a short version. The researchers found that statins have more benefit for reducing both colorectal cancer risk and cholesterol in the gene's long version.

"It's the exact same mechanism for lowering cholesterol as it is for lowering colon cancer risk. This is true only for those people who are actually taking statins. The gene test by itself doesn't predict whether you're at an increased risk of colon cancer; it predicts only how well statins lower the risk," Gruber says.

The researchers point out that it's easy to know if statins are successfully lowering cholesterol, but their effect on colorectal cancer prevention is not as apparent. That's where a gene test would come in.

"We think we understand the reasons why statins lower the risk of colorectal cancer. It's probably related to the fact that in addition to lowering cholesterol, they also decrease inflammation -- and we know inflammation is a very important part of the way in which colon cancers develop. But regardless of whether it's related to cholesterol levels itself or inflammation, it's more important to know who are the right people to use these drugs for," says Gruber, H. Marvin Pollard Professor of Internal Medicine and professor of epidemiology and human genetics at the U-M Medical School and School of Public Health.

Note for patients: Statins are not currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for colorectal cancer prevention. No gene test is available for determining statins' effectiveness. Talk to your health care provider for information about lowering your cancer risk.

Colorectal cancer statistics: 146,970 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and 49,920 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society

Additional authors: Liz Chao and Diana Dizon, from University of California, Irvine; Victor Moreno, from U-M and University of Barcelona; Laura S. Rozek, from U-M; Hedy Rennert and Mila Pinchev, from Clalit Health Services National Cancer Control Center, Carmel Medical Center, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Funding: National Cancer Institute grants; Spanish Secretaria de Estado de Universidades e Investigacion grant; Ravitz Foundation


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven M. Lipkin, Liz Chao, Victor Moreno, Laura S. Rozek, Hedy Rennert, Mila Pinchev, Diana Dizon, Gad Rennert, Levy Kopelovich, and Stephen B. Gruber. Genetic Variation in 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl CoA Reductase Modifies the Chemopreventive Activity of Statins for Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Prevention Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-10-0007

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Gene test shows who could benefit from statins to reduce colon cancer risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162121.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2010, April 23). Gene test shows who could benefit from statins to reduce colon cancer risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162121.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Gene test shows who could benefit from statins to reduce colon cancer risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419162121.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins