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Unlocking the Cancer-Fighting Powers of Statins: How Simvastatin May Take Down Lymphoma Cells in Dogs

a pill of Simvastatin that helps lower cholesterol levels but also fight cancer in dogs

Investigators have been emphasizing the importance of considering human and veterinary health jointly to achieve meaningful progress in clinical trials of critical diseases affecting both. In intertwining elements from one into the other, they sometimes find new uses for tools created for something completely different.

Anti-cholesterol drugs are currently being anatomized in the veterinary field for their possible effect in attacking cancerous cells, including those in Hemangiosarcoma. The Laboratory of Veterinary Internal Medicine at Yamaguchi University has just released results for a study that could bring us closer to affirming this theory.

The study aimed to understand how Simvastatin, a drug meant to help decrease cholesterol levels, causes cell death in canine lymphoma. The researchers found that the drug triggers autophagy - a process that helps break down and recycle damaged or unnecessary components and can either help cells survive or lead to their death, depending on the circumstances. It also activates the JNK cellular pathway involved in responding to stress, which can also result in cell death.

Statins have effects beyond just lowering cholesterol; they have other anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant benefits. They may also have the ability to slow down tumor growth by interfering with the production of particular molecules needed by T-cell lymphoma cells.

Luckily, it may be soon when clinical trials match the findings to advance this theory in Hemangiosarcoma research to help dogs diagnosed with the unfair battle.


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