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Ezetimibe and Ezetimibe/Simvastatin Combo Pose No Increased Cancer Risk, Study Shows
Date:3/25/2009

- Journal of Clinical Lipidology publishes largest study comparing cancer risk of ezetimibe and ezetimibe/simvastatin to statin therapies using FDA database -

BOSTON, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study shows no increased cancer risk with ezetimibe mono and ezetimibe/simvastatin combination treatments, compared to cancer rates of other powerful lipid-lowering statin therapies. The study, conducted by Tufts Medical Center lipid and health policy experts, was published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology (www.lipidjournal.com).

"This real-world examination shows no increased risk to patients taking ezetimibe alone or the ezetimibe/simvastatin combination to lower their lipid levels -- an issue that sparked many policy and health safety conversations," said lipidologist Richard Karas, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and Associate Director, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, who co-authored the study along with Tufts Medical Center colleague, Alawi A. Alsheikh-Ali, MD, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies.

Researchers at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine studied rates of reports of cancer as an adverse event filed with the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) for patients taking ezetimibe or ezetimibe/simvastatin compared to patients on mono-therapy with simvastatin, atorvastatin or rosuvastatin, during a four-year period. This is the first study to use the FDA database to evaluate potential cancer risk of cholesterol-lowering medications.

The Tufts researchers found 2,334 cases of cancers reported in the total population studied. Cancer rates were analyzed accounting for the number of prescriptions for each treatment dispensed across the
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