Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a relatively uncommon malignant epithelial cancer seen worldwide. The treatment of NPC has evolved toward combined modality treatment with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. However, chemotherapeutic agents currently have a secondary role, due to their lack of efficacy as curative agents. Recent identification of a novel property of statin drugs raises a promising hope that concurrent use of statins may enhance the efficacy of single-drug chemotherapy in NPC. However, the effects of statins have not been studied before in NPC. In this in vitro study, we demonstrate a unique property of statins that can enhance the efficacy of cisplatin in NPC.Primary human NPC cells (CCL-30) were treated with statins and cisplatin concurrently, and the effects on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell colony formation were examined.Statins caused significant decrease in cell proliferation and viability in NPC. Statins also induced loss of cell attachment, change in cellular morphology, decrease in colony forming units, and loss of sphere formation in soft gel agar, which are the important properties of tumorigenicity in NPC. Furthermore, we found that the effects of statins occur by a mevalonate (MA)-mediated pathway in these cells.We demonstrate a unique property of statins that can enhance the antitumor effects of cisplatin in NPC. Statins may act as a relatively safe and cost effective chemoadjuvant agent in the treatment of NPC.
View details for DOI 10.1002/alr.20039
View details for Web of Science ID 000308922300010
View details for PubMedID 22287433