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UT MD Anderson study finds link between statins and improved survival in inflammatory breast cancer
Date:12/6/2012

(fat-soluble) or hydrophilic (water-soluble), an important distinction as differences in survival emerged throughout the trial. The authors note patients who used both drug categories, or patients missing information on their specific statin type, were excluded from the survival estimates.

Outcomes Show Improvement

Patients with no record of statin use had 1.76 years DFS, while patients who took lipophilic statins saw improved survival rates of 2.47 years. The greatest improvement in survival was noted in patients with past hydrophilic statin use at 4.88 years.

Increased survival rates also extended to the DSS end-point. Patients with no statin use measured a DSS of 4.52 years, while hydrophilic patients measured 5.10 years.

The authors note there is a trend in overall survival, however the OS end-point did not reach statistical significance.

"The previous Danish study looking at statins examined a much larger group of participants, around 10,000 and more. So we're talking about a much smaller set of inflammatory breast cancer patients and to see the significant improvement in survival gives us a new perspective on the use of statins," said Ueno.

While Ueno added the findings are encouraging, the study does have limitations. First, no data was available describing how long patients had been taking statins, or for what indication. Those who did use statins may represent a population with better access to health care, a more health-conscious lifestyle and a higher education level, according to the researchers.

"This is an existing drug that was not developed for cancer and while developing new agents is important, statins are currently in the market and may have a significant role in the treatment we provide," he said.

Additional Research Warranted

MD Anderson researchers are planning prospective randomized studies in IBC patients to better evaluate the potential survival
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Contact: William Fitzgerald
wbfitzgerald@mdanderson.org
713-792-9518
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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