Statins reduce prostate cancer mortality
In this article, our Chief Medical Officer describes the potential benefit to prostate cancer patients, based on two recently published studies.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in developed countries. Although it is usually a slow growing tumor, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men because aggressive types recur following initial therapy with surgery or radiation.
What is the relationship between prostate cancer and statins?
Statins are unique drugs which lower the cholesterol levels in the blood. Cholesterol plays an important metabolic role in controlling pathways which are related to the survival of prostate cancer cells.
Past research on the use of statins focused on the impact of these drugs on prostate cancer recurrence, by measuring the rising Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA).
Latest research on prostate cancer and statins
Very recently, clinical research highlighted the usefulness of statins, with two published studies (“The Prostate” in 2013, and “Journal of Clinical Oncology” in 2014). In particular, the benefit was focused on prostate cancer-specific mortality. Both studies proved that prostate cancer patients who take statins to lower their cholesterol are significantly less likely to die from their cancer, compared to patients who do not take statins. It is also interesting that patients who used to take statins before their prostate cancer was diagnosed benefited the most.
Consequently, statins emerge as another way to potentially lower mortality due to prostate cancer.