Background: Statins, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, are commonly prescribed because of their therapeutic and preventive effects on cardiovascular diseases. Even though they have been occasionally reported to have antitumour activity, it is unknown whether statins have anti-angiogenic effect in human colorectal cancer (CRC).Methods:A total of 11 human CRC cell lines were used to test the effects of bevacizumab, statins, and bevacizumab plus statins on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) viability and invasion in vitro. To determine the molecular mechanism of statins as anti-angiogenic agents, we performed an angiogenesis antibody array and proteomics analysis and confirmed the results using immunoblot assay, HUVEC invasion rescue assay, and siRNA assay. The antitumoural effects of bevacizumab and statins were evaluated in xenograft models.Results:A conventional dose of statins (simvastatin 0.2 μM, lovastatin 0.4 μM, atorvastatin 0.1 μM, and pravastatin 0.4 μM) in combination with bevacizumab directly reduced the cell viability, migration, invasion, and tube formation of HUVECs. The culture media of the CRC cells treated with bevacizumab or statins were also found to inhibit HUVEC invasion by suppressing angiogenic mediators, such as angiopoietin2, binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP), and Hsp90α. The combined treatment with bevacizumab and simvastatin significantly reduced the growth and metastases of xenograft tumours compared with treatment with bevacizumab alone.Conclusions:The addition of simvastatin at a dose used in patients with cardiovascular diseases (40-80 mg once daily) may potentiate the anti-angiogenic effects of bevacizumab on CRC by suppressing angiopoietin2, BiP, and Hsp90α in cancer cells. A clinical trial of simvastatin in combination with bevacizumab in patients with CRC is needed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Samsung Biomedical Research Institute (GL1-B2-011-1) and the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A102166).