Could cholesterol be an important factor triggering breast cancer?

It has been reported that a substance that is a by-product of cholesterol can trigger the formation and spread of breast cancer. These findings sparked the hope of preventing cancer through taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. The study, published in the journal Science, also explains why obesity is an important factor in cancer. Similar studies have been done before on the relationship between statins and breast cancer. Similar findings were noted in a retrospective study conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. 6 months ago, the Medical Academy published a news article about the results of the study in this presentation, under the title ‘Statins improve survival in inflammatory breast cancer’.

It was discussed in the light of the information in the presentation that statins, which are widely used to lower cholesterol, improve progression-free survival in patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). We also recommend our readers to take a look at this article. The BBC, which published the study published in Science magazine today (November 29), includes the opinions of the experts who conducted the new study. We present this newly published news and the abstract of the study to the attention of our readers:

“It has been reported that a substance that is a byproduct of cholesterol can trigger the formation and spread of breast cancer. These findings sparked the hope of preventing cancer through taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. But cancer charities warned it was premature to advise women to take statins. The relationship between obesity and breast, colon and uterine cancer has been known for some time.

Breast cancer and obesity link

Fat in overweight people can cause cancer by causing the secretion of hormones such as estrogen. The team conducting the research at Duke University Medical Center in the USA revealed that cholesterol has the same effect. The human body converts cholesterol to a by-product called 27HC, and this substance, which mimics estrogen, shows the effect of this hormone in some tissues. Experiments on mice showed that a high-fat diet increased blood 27HC, and tumors grew 30% larger and were more likely to spread than mice on a normal diet. Breast cancer tissue was also found to grow faster when fed 27HC in the laboratory.

One of the researchers Prof. Dr. Donald McDonnell said that many previous studies have shown the link between obesity and breast cancer and that excess cholesterol increases the risk of breast cancer, but that no specific mechanism has been identified. prof. Dr. “The molecule we’ve now found, called 27HC, which is not cholesterol itself but a byproduct, mimics the estrogen hormone and can trigger breast cancer on its own,” McDonnell said. said.

Is it possible to reduce the risk of breast cancer through lowering cholesterol?

These findings strengthen hopes of lowering the risk of breast cancer through lowering cholesterol, the researchers say. Statin is a substance used by millions of people against heart disease. But studies have also shown that this substance also reduces the risk of breast cancer. Another way to lower the cholesterol level in the blood is through a healthy diet. Dr Emma Smith, UK Cancer Research Foundation, said: “This is the first time that this research shows a direct link between cholesterol and breast cancer in mice, but it is too early to talk about how this information might work in the future in the fight against breast cancer. “Until we know more about the impact of statins on cancer risk, the best ways to reduce this risk are to stay at a good weight, reduce alcohol consumption and exercise.”

The full text of the study, which is the subject of the news, can be accessed from the link below:
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6162/1094

27-Hydroxycholesterol Links Hypercholesterolemia and Breast Cancer Pathophysiology
ABSTRACT: Hypercholesterolemia is a risk factor for estrogen receptor (ER)–positive breast cancers and is associated with a decreased response of tumors to endocrine therapies. Here, we show that 27-hydroxycholesterol (27HC), a primary metabolite of cholesterol and an ER and liver X receptor (LXR) ligand, increases ER-dependent growth and LXR-dependent metastasis in mouse models of breast cancer. The effects of cholesterol on tumor pathology required its conversion to 27HC by the cytochrome P450 oxidase CYP27A1 and were attenuated by treatment with CYP27A1 inhibitors. In human breast cancer specimens, CYP27A1 expression levels correlated with tumor grade. In high-grade tumors, both tumor cells and tumor-associated macrophages exhibited high expression levels of the enzyme. Thus, lowering circulating cholesterol levels or interfering with its conversion to 27HC may be a useful strategy to prevent and/or treat breast cancer.

Obesity triggers breast cancer and cancerous cells multiply

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