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Independent Analyses of the SEAS, SHARP and IMPROVE-IT Studies of Ezetimibe
Date:7/21/2008

LONDON, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Oxford Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit (CTSU) proposed that the hypothesis-generating results of the SEAS trial of ezetimibe should be tested by reviewing the combined cancer results from the SHARP and IMPROVE-IT trials of ezetimibe, and reporting on the overall findings to the relevant regulatory authorities, independently of the drug manufacturers.

The two hypothesis-testing trials (SHARP and IMPROVE-IT) contain about four times as many cancers as the SEAS trial. They do not confirm the hypothesis raised by the SEAS trial that treatment increases the overall risk of developing cancer. In addition, there is no increase with time in the relative risk (active vs placebo) suggested by the cancer incidence and mortality from all 3 trials together (or just from the pair of hypothesis-testing trials). Consequently, the SEAS, SHARP and IMPROVE-IT trials do not provide credible evidence of any adverse effect on cancer.

Allocation to 5 years of substantial LDL-cholesterol lowering by a statin has been shown previously to have no apparent effect on cancer. The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' collaboration has published results (Lancet 2005;366: 1267-78) based on 90,000 patients randomised evenly between statin and control. Based on 5530 patients with cancer onset after randomisation, the statin vs control relative risk was 0.997 (with 95% confidence interval 0.95-1.05; not significant). Of these patients, 2163 died of their cancer during the scheduled follow-up period; the relative risk for cancer death was 1.01 (with 95% confidence interval 0.91-1.12; not significant).

In the final results from the SEAS trial, there appears to be a small increase in total cancer incidence in the group allocated ezetimibe + statin, but this is based on only 102 vs 67 cancer cases (including 39 vs 23 fatal cases) and there is no significant increase in any particular type of cancer. '/>"/>

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