Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACM (Cholesterol metabolism as a driver of prostate cancer aggressiveness)
Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2017-03-31
We hypothesized that cholesterol could be a contributing factor to the effect of obesity on prostate cancer pathogenesis. As proof-of-concept, we tested whether anti-cholesterolemic treatment would hamper prostate cancer in the context of obesity. For that we chose one the most commonly used anticholesterolemic drugs, simvastatin. Unexpectedly, simvastatin treatment did not reduce the phenotype, but instead we observed full blown prostate cancer lesions emerging. Next, we evaluated the effect of anticholesterolemic treatment in the absence of obesity and the results also indicated that simvastatin increased prostate cancer therapy resistance and accelerated its appearance.
Moreover, in collaborations with clinicians, we showed that certain subgroup of patients could increase the incidence of prostate cancer when treated with statins.
These results are very relevant socially because although the epidemiological studies didn’t show that statins in general increased the risk to any cancer. However, our results might be uncovering an undesired effect of this treatment on an unknown group of man. For that reason, our objectives are to keep investigating in the mechanisms of this phenomenon to clarify the possible risk of these drugs on the general population.
Then we contacted clinicians to validate epidemiologically our data.