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Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet 2013;4(4):183-192

Review Article
Evaluation of the effect of genetic variation on the relationship between
statins, cardiovascular disease and cancer

Pinkal Desai, Allison Jay, Cathryn Bock , Gregory Dyson, Tochukwu Okwuosa, Michael S Simon

Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Hematology/Oncology, New York, NY; Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics,
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; Karmanos Cancer Institute, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI;
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Wayne State University, Detroit MI, USA

Received July 9, 2013; Accepted October 8, 2013; Epub November 28, 2013; Published December 15, 2013

Abstract: Statins are a class of medications that are competitive inhibitors of Hydroxy Methyl Glutaryl Co-enzyme A (HMG-CoA)
reductase which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol bio-synthesis pathway. As a result, statins lower total cholesterol
and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol thus impacting cardiovascular mortality. The downstream effects of statins are not
limited to inhibition of cholesterol synthesis alone. Statins have anti-inflammatory effects thought to be important in the setting
of acute myocardial infarction which also may be a mechanism involved in anti-carcinogenic properties of statins. Furthermore,
statin inhibition of the mevalonate pathway may impact Ras and RhoGTPases that are important in cell proliferation, migration
and apoptosis. These alterations may also play a role in the anti-cancer effect of statins. In this article we will review the
literature on how genetic variation modifies the effect of statins on the risk of cardiovascular disease and how genetic variation
may impact the relationship between statins and the risk of a number of different cancers. (IJMEG1307003).

Keywords: Statins, blood lipids, cancer risk, cardiovascular disease, genetic variation

Address correspondence to: Michael S Simon, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, 4100 John R, 4221 HWCRC Detroit,
MI, USA. Tel: +1-313-576-8727; Fax: +1-313-576-8764; E-mail: simonm@karmanos.org; Pinkal Desai, Weill Cornell Medical
College, New York, NY. E-mail: dr.pinkal.desai@gmail.com