Simvastatin is effective in killing the radioresistant breast carcinoma cells

  • Bertram Aschenbrenner
  • Giulia Negro
  • Dragana Savic
  • Maxim Sorokin
  • Anton Buzdin
  • Ute Ganswindt
  • Maja Cemazar
  • Gregor Sersa Editor-in-Chief
  • Sergei Skvortsov
  • Ira Skvortsova


Statins, small molecular 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, are widely used to lower cholesterol levels in lipid-metabolism disorders. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have shown that statins exert beneficial effects in the management of breast cancer by increasing recurrence free survival. Unfortunately, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Simvastatin, one of the most widely prescribed lipophilic statins was utilized to investigate potential radiosensitizing effects and an impact on cell survival and migration in radioresistant breast cancer cell lines. Compared to parental cell counterparts, radioresistant MDA-MB-231-RR, T47D-RR and Au565-RR cells were characterized by upregulation of HMGCR expression accompanied by EMT activation. Radioresistant breast cancer cells can be killed by simvastatin via mobilizing of a variety of pathways involved in apoptosis and autophagy. In the presence of simvastatin migratory abilities and vimentin expression is diminished while E-cadherin expression is increased. The present study suggests that simvastatin may effectively eradicate radioresistant breast carcinoma cells and diminish their mesenchymal phenotypes.

Author Biography

Gregor Sersa, Editor-in-Chief


Department of Experimental Oncology

How to Cite
Aschenbrenner, B., Negro, G., Savic, D., Sorokin, M., Buzdin, A., Ganswindt, U., Cemazar, M., Sersa, G., Skvortsov, S., & Skvortsova, I. (2021). Simvastatin is effective in killing the radioresistant breast carcinoma cells. Radiology and Oncology, 55(3), 305-316. Retrieved from
Experimental oncology