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Statins May Lower Rates of Prostate Cancer Recurrence
Date:6/29/2010

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that men who take the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are a third less likely to suffer from recurrences of prostate cancer.

But don't demand that your doctor prescribe a statin -- drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor -- for you just yet.

The findings aren't firm enough for doctors to make a blanket recommendation about statin therapy for men who have had prostate cancer, said study senior author Dr. Stephen Freedland, an associate professor of urology and pathology at Duke University.

Another physician went further, saying the findings simply aren't convincing.

Some prior research has suggested that men who took the cholesterol-lowering drugs were less likely than other men to develop advanced prostate cancer and have it come back. But other studies haven't found such positive effects, so the jury is still out, said Dr. Nelson Neal Stone, a professor of urology and radiation oncology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The goal of the new study was to see if statins might be helping those who had already had the disease.

The researchers examined the medical records of more than 1,300 men who'd had their prostates removed after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of those, 18 percent were taking a statin when they had the procedures.

The study results appear in the June 28 online issue of the journal Cancer.

After adjusting their statistics so they wouldn't be thrown off by factors such as high or low numbers or who were, say, obese or older, researchers found that those on statins were 30 percent less likely to suffer a recurrence of prostate cancer. More specifically, tumors recurred in 25 percent of those who didn't use statins and 16 percent of those who did.

The study doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship: The statins did not necessarily directly l
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