Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 5, 2007
In laboratory studies, statin drugs have shown some anti-cancer activity. This study looked at the use of statin therapy during radiation treatment for prostate cancer. The records of 871 men who had T1-T3 prostate tumors treated with radiation therapy were reviewed.
Nineteen percent of the men were on statin therapy throughout their radiation course. The 5- and 10-year PSA relapse-free rates for patients on a statin drug were 91% and 76%, respectively, versus 81% and 66%, respectively, for those not taking a statin. The outcome was best for men with high-risk disease, and while the numbers were not significant, they leaned in favor of the statin group in intermediate-risk men. There was no difference in overall survival between taking vs. not taking a statin.
This “look back” (retrospective) study of statin use during prostate radiotherapy has significant limitations, such as not knowing which statin or dose men were taking. A large randomized study would help better define the value of statin therapy during prostate radiation therapy.
Partially funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.