Apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I), the major protein component of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) is a multifunctional protein, involved in cholesterol traffic and inflammatory and immune response regulation. Many studies revealing alterations of ApoA-I during the development and progression of various types of cancer suggest that serum ApoA-I levels may represent a useful biomarker contributing to better estimation of cancer risk, early cancer diagnosis, follow up, and prognosis stratification of cancer patients. In addition, recent in vitro and animal studies disclose a more direct, tumor suppressive role of ApoA-I in cancer pathogenesis, which involves anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory mechanisms. Herein, we review recent epidemiologic, clinicopathologic, and mechanistic studies investigating the role of ApoA-I in cancer biology, which suggest that enhancing the tumor suppressive activity of ApoA-I may contribute to better cancer prevention and treatment.
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