Atorvastatin and celecoxib: A future role in cancer chemoprevention

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Atorvastatin and Celecoxib: A Future Role in Cancer Chemoprevention

To the Editor,

I read with interest the recent article by Xiao et al.1 The study by Xiao et al. clearly proves that combination therapy with atorvastatin and celecoxib has a major role to play in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer. Both atorvastatin and celecoxib are potent inhibitors of inflammatory markers, especially C-reactive protein.2 Clearly, this antiinflammatory effect may have a significant role to play in the anticarcinogenic properties of this dual combination.

Interestingly, recent studies indicate that this combination may be effective in the treatment of other cancers, especially cancer of the prostate. For instance, Zheng et al. have recently shown that a combination of atorvastatin and celecoxib inhibits prostate PC-3 tumors in mice.3 Previous studies indicate that atorvastatin by itself can decrease the risk of different systemic cancers. For instance, it has been shown that invasion as well as metastasis in human melanoma lines is markedly decreased after the use of atorvastatin.4 Similarly, Maksimova et al. in a recent study have shown that another statin, lovastatin is capable of causing apoptosis of tumor cells in lung cancer cell lines.5 The risk reduction in this analysis was most significant for renal cancer and lymphomas and was seen for almost all cancers except those of the breast, bladder, and the lung. Clearly, the addition of celecoxib has a synergistic effect in increasing the anticarcinogenic potential of atorvastatin.3

The study by Xiao et al. is clearly a landmark study and further human studies are needed to potentially explore the use of this combination for the chemoprevention of not just colorectal cancers but other malignancies too.

Shailendra Kapoor M.D.*, * University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612.

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