Navigation Links
Statins Lower Blood Marker for Prostate Cancer

But it's not clear if the cholesterol-lowering drugs protect against the disease

THURSDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new study shows that men who take cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins have lower blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a biomarker for prostate cancer risk.

That drop in PSA levels doesn't necessarily mean the drugs protect against disease however, researchers say.

But it's possible that statins may offer some protection against the disease, said Dr. Robert Hamilton, one author of the report in the Oct. 28 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. He worked on the study while a research fellow at Duke University; he is now a urology resident at the University of Toronto.

"The reduction in PSA was in proportion to the dose of statins that were taken and to the reduction of cholesterol levels," Hamilton said, indicators of a possible protective effect.

The study was done because of "encouraging recent data" from four previous studies showing an association between statin therapy and reduced PSA levels, and a reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer, he said.

The study followed 1,214 men who were prescribed statins between 1990 and 2006 at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina. PSA levels declined by about 4 percent after statin therapy was started, with the greatest reductions seen in men who took the largest doses of statins and had the largest drops in blood cholesterol levels.

The results parallel those of a study reported in 2005 by a group led by Dr. Dov Kadmon, a professor of urology at the Baylor College of Medicine.

"Our study was the first to show a relationship between PSA levels and either lowering of cholesterol or treatment with statins," Kadmon said. "We could not distinguish whether lowering cholesterol or statin treatment was responsible, because our study was not designed to show that."

Kadmon and his colleagues followed 100 commercial airline pilots, a group chosen because federal regulations require them to have regular medical exams. The five-year study showed that "pilots on statins had a 46 percent decrease in PSA levels, while the control group had a slow increase in PSA levels, which are known to go up with age," Kadmon said.

The study was too small and too short to tell whether statins might protect against prostate cancer, Kadmon said. "But we know that when men have higher PSA levels, there is a higher chance that they will be diagnosed with prostate cancer," he said. "It is worth looking into by conducting a larger study."

"There is no question that a large, randomized, controlled trial with a long follow-up would most likely answer the question," Hamilton said. "It would be an expensive, huge undertaking."

Why statins affect PSA levels is unclear, Hamilton said. "We have some idea of how statins interact with prostate biology," he said. "But we don't know the exact mechanism by which statins influence PSA."

The anti-inflammatory action of statins is one of the possible mechanisms, Hamilton said. "We need to learn more about prostate cancer and statins before we launch a huge study," he added.

More information

Statins and other drugs that lower cholesterol are described by the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Robert Hamilton, M.D., urology resident, University of Toronto; Dov Kadmon, M.D., professor, urology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Oct. 28, 2008, Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Stopping Statins After Stroke Doubles Death Risk
2. Research to shed new light on how statins benefit heart patients
3. Statins reduce loss of function, keeping old lungs young - even in smokers
4. Better Prostate Cancer Survival for Men Taking Statins
5. Statins After Bypass Lower Stroke Risk
6. Latest Study Says Statins Dont Slow Alzheimers
7. New Gene-Based Therapy an Alternative to Vytorin and Statins in Heart Disease Prevention and Treatment
8. Tendon complications, though rare, linked to statins
9. Cholesterol-Lowering Statins Tied to Tendon Woes
10. Women are treated less frequently than men with statins, aspirin and beta-blockers
11. Presents New Data on Statins at FDA Workshop Demonstrating How Patient-Reported Information Can Enhance Drug Safety Knowledge
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in ... that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to ... dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men ... prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown ... helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients ... central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that ... viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... workshops to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection in ... collaboration with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes ... titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- --> --> ... potential to save costs, improve treatment quality and accelerate ... exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is placed on ... tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... -->      (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... the author the present scenario and growth prospects of ... the market size, the report considers revenue generated from ... and copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Un nuevo enfoque ... para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   ... inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el ... . --> Clinical Cancer Research . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: