Cholesterol efflux pathways could be exploited in tumor biology to unravel cancer vulnerabilities. A mouse model of lung-tumor-bearing KRAS mutation with specific disruption of cholesterol efflux pathways in epithelial progenitor cells promoted tumor growth. Defective cholesterol efflux in epithelial progenitor cells governed their transcriptional landscape to support their expansion and create a pro-tolerogenic tumor microenvironment (TME). Overexpression of the apolipoprotein A-I, to raise HDL levels, protected these mice from tumor development and dire pathologic consequences. Mechanistically, HDL blunted a positive feedback loop between growth factor signaling pathways and cholesterol efflux pathways that cancer cells hijack to expand. Cholesterol removal therapy with cyclodextrin reduced tumor burden in progressing tumor by suppressing the proliferation and expansion of epithelial progenitor cells of tumor origin. Local and systemic perturbations of cholesterol efflux pathways were confirmed in human lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Our results position cholesterol removal therapy as a putative metabolic target in lung cancer progenitor cells.