Using cholesterol-lowering statins, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Baylor College of Medicine and the Georgia Regents University, were able to inhibit the growth of uterine fibroid tumors.
“Non-cancerous uterine fibroids are the most common type of tumor in the female reproductive system, accounting for half of the 600,000 hysterectomies done annually in the U.S. Their estimated annual cost is up to $34 billion in the U.S. alone,” said UTMB’s Dr. Mostafa Borahay, assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology and lead author. “Despite this, the exact cause of these tumors is not well understood, as there are several genetic, familial and hormonal abnormalities linked with their development.”
For the study, researchers wanted to determine the impact of statins on human uterine fibroid cell growth and also observe the way it works to suppress the tumor. They found it impedes the growth of uterine fibroid tumor cells by stopping the progression of tumor cells and induces calcium-dependent cell death mechanisms. “The findings of this study are particularly significant; statins have been in clinical use for years so their safety profile is well known,” said Dr. Borahay. “Having a safe medicine to treat these common tumors has been a goal for women and the medical community for a long time.”