Statins and colorectal cancer

Paul Lochhead, Andrew T Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, more commonly referred to as statins, comprise a family of lipid-lowering drugs that are prescribed on a global scale on account of their demonstrated safety and efficacy in reducing mortality from cardiovascular disease. Beyond their potent pharmacologic inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, statins appear to have pleiotropic effects, including modulation of cell growth, apoptosis, and inflammation. Through modulation of these pathways, statins have the potential to influence a wide range of disease processes, including cancer. Much attention has focussed on the association between statins and colorectal cancer, raising the prospect that these well-tolerated compounds could form the basis of future chemopreventive strategies. Herein we review the epidemiologic, clinical, and pre-clinical data relevant to statins and colorectal neoplasia, and discuss the current status and future potential of statins as chemopreventive agents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • statin
  • colon
  • rectum
  • adenoma
  • chemoprevention


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