Navigation Links
Cholesterol-lowering drugs may also lower PSA, but whether they cut cancer risk is still not known

DURHAM, N.C. -- Popular cholesterol-busting drugs -- statins -- appear to lower men's PSA values along with their cholesterol levels, according to researchers in the Duke Prostate Center and the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. But whether the drugs prevent prostate cancer growth or just mask it is not known yet.

"Previous studies had shown that men taking statins were less likely to develop advanced forms of prostate cancer but no one had looked at the relationship between the drugs and prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a biomarker that is correlated with cancer growth and is the most common prostate cancer screening tool," said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke and senior investigator on the study. "Our study represents a move to understand if and how statins influence prostate biology and whether they are really reducing cancer risk, or simply making PSA a less effective screening tool."

The study was published in the October 28, 2008 issue Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The research was funded by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, The United States Department of Defense and the American Urological Association Foundation's Astellas Rising Star in Urology Award, given to Freedland.

The researchers reviewed the medical records of 1214 men who were prescribed statins between 1990 and 2006 at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Men with prostate cancer were excluded from the study.

They found that PSA levels declined by an average of about four percent after starting statins, compared to no decline in the year before starting the statins, Freedland said. Bigger declines occurred in men who took higher doses of statins and who had the largest decreases in cholesterol levels. Also, the higher the PSA levels were initially, the more they were seen to decline, Freedland said.

"This is important because we had some men who started with PSA levels that looked to be headed in the direction of a recommended biopsy to look for prostate cancer, but they weren't there quite yet," said Robert Hamilton, M.D., a urologist at the University of Toronto, who served as this study's lead investigator while he was a research fellow at Duke. "In a good proportion of these men, the PSA levels declined sufficiently to a point where physicians might not recommend a biopsy, so it's really important that we understand what's at work here, so we can be sure we're not missing cancers because of deceptively low PSA levels."

"Our next step will be to further investigate the interplay between statins and prostate biology to determine whether their effect on PSA corresponds to, or is independent of, cancer growth," Freedland said. "Depending on the outcomes, this could have big public health implications, whether we need to change the way we screen men who are taking statins or we are able to harness the mechanism by which statins work to reduce risk or even treat cancer."

Statins were the most commonly prescribed class of drugs in the United States in 2007 and they work by blocking the production of a critical enzyme the body needs to make cholesterol. There are several types of cholesterol found in the blood; when the level of so-called "bad" cholesterol, or low density lipoprotein (LDL) is too high and concentrations of "good" cholesterol, or high density lipoprotein (HDL) too low, it can lead to cardiovascular disease.


Contact: Lauren Shaftel Williams
Duke University Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Discoverers of Small Regulatory RNAs and Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs to Receive Lasker Awards for Medical Research
2. Study shows cholesterol-lowering power of dietitian visits
3. Cholesterol-Lowering Statins Tied to Tendon Woes
4. Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs May Ease Irregular Heartbeat
5. New Type of Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Shows Promise
6. Many Patients Stop Taking Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
7. Cholesterol-lowering drug linked to sleep disruptions
8. Topical treatment for cold sores achieves efficacy of oral drugs; represents paradigm shift
9. Common Heart Drugs May Hamper Blood Thinner
10. The Market for Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs Will Experience Exponential Growth, Increasing From $477 Million in 2007 to Nearly $3.8 Billion in 2017
11. Albertsons LLC Launches $4.99 Prescription Discount Program Covering Over 500 Generic Drugs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, the leading ... with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue ... Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe ... from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine ... his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future ... today online at by the Diabetes ... stand in the way of academic and community service ... scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United ... to their offering. ... healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in ... with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: