High-density lipoprotein (HDL) have long been studied for their protective role against cardiovascular diseases, however recently relationship between HDL and cancer came into focus. Several epidemiological studies have shown an inverse correlation between HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) and cancer risk, and some have even implied that HDL-C can be used as a predictive measure for survival prognosis in for specific sub-population of certain types of cancer. HDL itself is an endogenous nanoparticle capable of removing excess cholesterol from the periphery and returning it to the liver for excretion. One of the main receptors for HDL, scavenger receptor type B-I (SR-BI), is highly upregulated in endocrine cancers, notably due to the high demand for cholesterol by cancer cells. Thus, the potential to exploit administration of cholesterol-free reconstituted or synthetic HDL (sHDL) to deplete cholesterol in endocrine cancer cell and stunt their growth of use chemotherapeutic drug loaded sHDL to target payload delivery to cancer cell has become increasingly attractive. This review focuses on the role of HDL and HDL-C in cancer and application of sHDLs as endocrine cancer therapeutics.

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Published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, v. 9, 715, p. 1-11.

© 2018 Morin, Li and Schwendeman.

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This publication was made possible by Grant Number R01GM113832 (to AS and X-AL) from NIGMS/NIH and NIH T32-HL125242 (EM).