In a nutshell
This study examined the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) on treatment outcomes following prostate surgery. Researchers found no link between statin use and disease recurrence risk after treatment with prostate surgery.
Statins are drugs that lower the cholesterol levels in the blood. Lower cholesterol levels help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Some studies have suggested that lowering cholesterol levels can also slow cancer growth. Statin use before and after prostate cancer surgery was found to decrease a number of cancer markers. These included lower PSA levels (prostate specific antigen; a protein elevated in the blood in prostate cancer) and lower Gleason scores (indicating less aggressive cancer cells). However, evidence to this effect is mixed with other studies finding no link between statin use and prostate cancer outcomes.
Methods & findings
The aim of this study was to examine the link between statin use and treatment outcomes following prostate surgery.
The records of 3,042 men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer were analyzed. 27% of these men reported statin use at the time of surgery. Treatment outcomes were compared between statin users and nonusers for up to 70 months.
Statin users were significantly older, had a higher body mass index (excess weight according to height), more medical conditions, and lower PSA levels before surgery.
15% of men experienced disease recurrence (based on blood tests) during the study period. Statin use was not significantly associated with recurrence. 85.7% of statin users and 86.9% of nonusers were recurrence-free at 5 years. 79.5% of statin users and 79.5% of nonusers were recurrence-free at 10 years.
1,256 men had a Gleason score of 6 before surgery. 52% of these men were upgraded to a higher Gleason score during the study period. Statin use was not associated with a significantly increased risk of upgrading. Significant predictors of upgrading included age, PSA levels before surgery, year of surgery, extent of cancer, smaller prostate size, time until surgery, and double-review of tissue sample results.
The bottom line
Researchers concluded that statin use was not associated with disease recurrence risk after prostate surgery.
The fine print
This analysis did not control for dosage, duration of use, and adherence to medication among statin users.
Published By :
Aug 08, 2016
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