Cholesterol-lowering statins can help to treat cancer
Research has revealed that statins, drugs which are most often taken to lower high cholesterol levels, could help to prevent and even treat cancer.
Scientists from New York’s Columbia University now believe statins could be effective in fighting certain forms of breast cancer.
Their investigations focused on breast cells containing defective versions of the p53 gene, which, when healthy, suppresses cells with cancerous properties.
However, when the p53 gene mutates it promotes the growth of cancerous tumours, but by treating patients with statins the cells stopped growing and in some cases they even died.
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“The data raises the possibility that we might identify subsets of patients whose tumours may respond to statins,” said Dr Carol Prives, who led the study alongside Dr William Freed-Pastor.
“Of course we can't make any definitive conclusions until we know more. There are great implications, but nothing clinical yet.
“Perhaps one could do a clinical trial and that may support these findings, or it may be more complicated,” she added.
Previous research has already suggested that statins may be an effective tool in cancer prevention and treatment.
One study, which was carried out in 2011 and published in the journal Cancer, estimated that men who took statins after surgery to remove prostate cancer had 30 percent less chance of it returning.
Additionally, separate research revealed that those patients who took statins for five or more years were less likely to develop colon cancer.
This most recent research has been published in the journal Cell and commenting on the findings, Dr Caitlin Palframan, from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity, said: “We’re excited that existing drugs, like statins, are showing potential in the fight against breast cancer.
“This research identifies a relatively large group of breast cancer patients who could be targeted with statins, though we will need to see the results of clinical trials to know whether this will work.”
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Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”