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Statins associated with lower cancer recurrence following prostatectomy
Date:6/27/2010

DURHAM, N.C. Men who use statins to lower their cholesterol are 30 percent less likely to see their prostate cancer come back after surgery compared to men who do not use the drugs, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. Researchers also found that higher doses of the drugs were associated with lower risk of recurrence.

The findings are published in the journal CANCER.

"The findings add another layer of evidence suggesting that statins may have an important role in slowing the growth and progression of prostate cancer," says Stephen Freedland, M.D., a member of the Duke Prostate Center and the Urology Section at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the senior author of the study. "Previous studies have shown that statins have anti-cancer properties, but it's not entirely clear when it's best to use them or even how they work."

Researchers examined the records of 1319 men who underwent radical prostatectomy included in the Shared Equal Access Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH) database. They found that 18 percent of the men 236 were taking statins at the time of surgery.

Researchers followed the patients after surgery to evaluate recurrence rates, measured by slight rises in the PSA levels after surgery, a development known as "biochemcical recurrence." Time to biochemical recurrence is viewed as an important clinical factor because it is correlated with the risk of disease progression and death.

The authors found that 304 men had a rising PSA, including 37 (16 percent) of the statin users and 267 (25 percent) of the non-users. Taking into account various clinical and pathological features that differed between the two groups, the data showed that overall, statin use reduced the risk of biochemical recurrence by 30 percent.

Among men taking statins equivalent to 20 mg of simvastatin a day, the risk of recurrence was reduced 43 percent and among the men taking the equiva
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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-660-1306
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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