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Statin use associated with reduction in prostate specific antigen levels
Date:10/28/2008

epidemiological studies suggesting statins reduce overall or advanced prostate cancer risk. More importantly, this PSA decline, if confirmed in future studies, may complicate prostate cancer screening because cancers may be missed due to the lower PSA levels, and this fact should be kept in mind when evaluating men taking statins," the authors write. The impact of such a change on prostate cancer mortality, the authors note, is unclear because there is no level 1 evidence to indicate that PSA screening lowers prostate cancer mortality.

In an accompanying editorial, Ian Thompson, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and colleagues suggest that the new data should be interpreted with caution. While it is possible that statins alter prostate biology, a reduction in PSA does not necessarily correlate with a reduction in cancer risk. Moreover, the observational study design used by Freedland and colleagues could lead to unintended bias in the results. Finally, although the 4.1% drop in median PSA is statistically significant, it may not be clinically meaningful.

Therefore, further studies are needed to better understand the impact of statins on a prostate cancer, the editorialists conclude. "If statins do lower PSA, only a randomized trial with histological endpoints can determine whether statins affect a man's risk of prostate cancer," they write.


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Contact: Liz Savage
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1287
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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