Statins and breast cancer: Future directions in chemoprevention

Cesar A. Santa-Maria, Vered Stearns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Given the high incidence, morbidity and mortality associated with breast cancer, developing effective chemopreventive strategies is crucial. Clinicians must carefully identify both populations at risk who would benefit from chemoprevention, and interventions that are effective and safe. Tamoxifen and raloxifene, the 2 agents approved for breast cancer chemoprevention, and third generation aromatase inhibitors reduce only the incidence of hormone receptor-positive tumors. 3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoAR) inhibitors, or statins, are well tolerated and approved for prevention of cardiovascular disease. In preclinical breast cancer models, statins carry potent anti-neoplastic activity. Results from epidemiological and clinical studies, however, are conflicting and have not identified a strong relationship between statin use and reduced breast cancer incidence. These studies have several limitations and were not designed to detect modest effects in high-risk populations. Additional focused epidemiological and translational studies in high-risk populations are needed to justify and guide definitive large prospective trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Breast Cancer Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Biomarkers
  • Breast cancer risk
  • Cancer recurrence
  • Cancer review
  • Chemoprevention
  • HMG-CoAR inhibitors
  • High-risk populations
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Statins and breast cancer: Future directions in chemoprevention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this