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The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, simvastatin, lovastatin and mevastatin inhibit proliferation and invasion of melanoma cells

Author(s): Glynn Sharon | O'Sullivan Dermot | Eustace Alex | Clynes Martin | O'Donovan Norma

Journal: BMC Cancer
ISSN 1471-2407

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background A number of recent studies have suggested that cancer incidence rates may be lower in patients receiving statin treatment for hypercholesterolemia. We examined the effects of statin drugs on in vitro proliferation, migration and invasion of melanoma cells. Methods The ability of lovastatin, mevastatin and simvastatin to inhibit the melanoma cell proliferation was examined using cytotoxicity and apoptosis assays. Effects on cell migration and invasion were assessed using transwell invasion and migration chambers. Hypothesis testing was performed using 1-way ANOVA, and Student's t-test. Results Lovastatin, mevastatin and simvastatin inhibited the growth, cell migration and invasion of HT144, M14 and SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells. The concentrations required to inhibit proliferation of melanoma cells (0.8–2.1 μM) have previously been achieved in a phase I clinical trial of lovastatin in patients with solid tumours, (45 mg/kg/day resulted in peak plasma concentrations of approximately 3.9 μM). Conclusion Our results suggest that statin treatment is unlikely to prevent melanoma development at standard doses. However, higher doses of statins may have a role to play in adjuvant therapy by inhibiting growth and invasion of melanoma cells.
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