Efficacy of fluvastatin and aspirin for prevention of hormonally insensitive breast cancer

Anjana Bhardwaj, Matthew D. Embury, Raniv D. Rojo, Constance Albarracin, Isabelle Bedrosian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Primary prevention of hormonally insensitive breast cancers remains an important clinical need and repurposing existing low-toxicity drugs represents a low-cost, efficient strategy for meeting this goal. This study targeted the cholesterol pathway using fluvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, and aspirin, an AMPK activator that acts as a brake in the cholesterol pathway, in a transgenic mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Methods: Using SV40C3 TAg mice, the efficacy and mechanism of fluvastatin, aspirin, or both in combination were compared with vehicle alone. Results: Sixteen-weeks of fluvastatin treatment resulted in significant delay in onset of tumors (20 weeks vs. 16.8 weeks in vehicle treatment, p = 0.01) and inhibited tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity by 50% relative to the vehicle control. In animals that developed tumors, fluvastatin treatment inhibited tumor weight by 75% relative to vehicle control. Aspirin alone did not significantly affect tumor latency, tumor incidence or tumor burden compared to vehicle control. Fluvastatin and aspirin in combination delayed the onset of tumors but failed to inhibit tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity. The growth-inhibitory effects of fluvastatin were mediated through increased FAS/FASL mediated apoptotic cell death that was characterized by increased cleaved PARP and driven in part by depletion of an isoprenoid, geranyl geranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP). Conclusions: In line with NCI’s emphasis to repurpose low-toxicity drugs for prevention of cancer, fluvastatin was effective for prevention of TNBC and warrants further clinical testing. Aspirin did not provide chemopreventive benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Aspirin
  • Fluvastatin
  • Prevention
  • SV40 C3TAg mice
  • TNBC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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