Cholesterol Drugs Might Help Curb Prostate Cancers

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — Drugs that many males with prostate cancer would possibly already be taking — cholesterol-lowering statins — could assist lengthen their survival if they’ve a “high-risk” type of the illness, new analysis suggests.

Excessive-risk sufferers embody males with excessive blood ranges of prostate particular antigen (PSA) and a “Gleason rating” of eight or extra. Gleason scores are a calculation used to gauge prognosis in prostate most cancers. Males with a excessive Gleason score could develop difficult-to-treat cancers.

Prior analysis had steered that statins and the diabetes drug metformin (typically prescribed collectively) have anticancer properties. Nonetheless, it hasn’t been clear which of the 2 medicine is the larger cancer-fighter, or whether or not both would possibly assist towards high-risk prostate most cancers.

To assist reply these questions, a crew led by Grace Lu-Yao of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Middle–Jefferson Well being, in Philadelphia, tracked knowledge on practically 13,000 high-risk prostate most cancers sufferers. All have been identified between 2007 and 2011.

The examine could not show trigger and impact, however it discovered that statins, taken alone or with metformin, did appear related to a rise in survival.

Males who took each statins and metformin had greater median survival (3.9 years) than those that took statins alone (3.6 years), metformin alone (3.1 years), or those that didn’t take both drug (3.1 years).

The examine was printed Feb. eight within the journal Most cancers Medication.

“Each metformin and statins have been related to longer life in prostate most cancers sufferers, but as a result of they’re generally prescribed collectively, no examine we all know of has checked out these two drugs individually,” Lu-Yao stated in a middle information launch. She’s affiliate director of inhabitants science on the middle.

“With respect to prostate mortality, metformin plus statin was related to a 36% discount in danger of demise adopted by statins alone,” Lu-Yao added.

The examine additionally discovered that those that took one in all three forms of statin — atorvastatin, pravastatin or rosuvastatin — had longer survival than those that didn’t take any statins. The same profit was not seen with a fourth statin, lovastatin.


As a result of prostate most cancers thrives on testosterone, sufferers typically obtain remedies that scale back ranges of male hormones (androgens). The brand new examine discovered that amongst sufferers who acquired such therapies, those that took atorvastatin had an extended median time to prostate most cancers development than those that did not take statins.

It isn’t clear why such results have been restricted to atorvastatin, Lu-Yao stated, however it seems to have the most effective “bioavailability” of the statin medicine and lingers longest within the physique.

The analysis crew believes that, based mostly on the present proof, a medical trial must be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of statins and the mix of statins/metformin in extending survival of prostate most cancers sufferers.

Two prostate most cancers specialists unconnected to the brand new examine agreed that the findings present promise.

“It seems that there could also be a spot within the therapy of prostate most cancers for statins,” stated Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urology specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York Metropolis. “Nonetheless, we aren’t but at some extent the place we are able to use the info to direct affected person care.”

She believes testosterone could also be key right here. In accordance with Kavaler, greater cholesterol levels promote greater ranges of androgens, which in flip assist encourage the expansion of prostate most cancers. Statins could assist gradual that course of, Kavaler defined.

Dr. Manish Vira is vice chair for urologic analysis at The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He agreed that the findings are encouraging, and famous that “a dozen actively recruiting medical trials utilizing both metformin or a statin in prostate cancer treatment” are already underway.

WebMD Information from HealthDay


SOURCES: Manish Vira, M.D., vice chair for urologic analysis, The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Elizabeth Kavaler, M.D., urology specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Metropolis; Sidney Kimmel Most cancers Middle-Jefferson Well being, information launch, Feb. 10, 2020

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