Statins Show No Survival Benefit in Small-Cell Lung Cancer


“Patients with small-cell lung cancer derived no survival benefit from cholesterol-lowering medication, according to a phase 3 randomized, double blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled study published in Journal of Oncology.

” ‘There’s no reason for people to stop taking statins to manage their cholesterol, but it’s extremely unlikely, for patients with small-cell lung cancer, that taking statins will make any difference to their cancer treatment outcome,’ Michael J. Seckl, MD, professor of molecular cancer medicine at Imperial College London, said in a press release. ‘Because all statins work in a similar way to lower cholesterol, it’s relatively unlikely that statins other than pravastatin would have a different, more beneficial effect.’ ”

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Statins May Be Associated with Reduced Mortality in Four Common Cancers


“A diagnosis of high cholesterol is associated with reduced mortality and improved survival in the four most common cancers, according to research presented today at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2016. The 14 year study from nearly one million patients found that a high cholesterol diagnosis was associated with lower risk of death in lung, breast, prostate and bowel cancers.”

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Study Shows Statins Could Be Effective against Small Cell Lung Cancer

“In a recent study, researchers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center (Western), in collaboration with international colleagues, found that statins could be an effective therapeutic against metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

“The study of 876 late-stage SCLC patients, published today in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS ONE, showed that statins, a class of drugs primarily used to lower cholesterol in patients at risk for heart disease, appeared to provide an increase in overall survival for those cancer patients who received them.

” ‘Small cell lung cancer is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, and yet in nearly three decades, no new classes of treatments have been adopted as new benchmarks for standard therapy,’ said Dr. Glen Weiss, M.D., M.B.A., Director of Clinical Research and Medical Oncologist at CTCA at Western in Goodyear, Ariz., and the study’s senior author. ‘Our study showed that statins appear to provide a statistically significant survival benefit among patients with metastatic SCLC.’ “

Provocative Data Reveal Changing Paradigms in Prostate Cancer

“The pace of research in prostate cancer is increasing, and several interesting themes have emerged recently.

“There are provocative data that suggest that the use of statins, the cholesterol-lowering agents, improves prognosis in prostate cancer.

“A team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently reported in JAMA Oncology that, from a series of more than 900 patients with prostate cancer, those on statins had a significant reduction in all-cause and prostate cancer-specific mortality. They also showed preclinical evidence that DHEAS and statins compete for the SLCO2B1 cellular transporter, which facilitates their entry into prostate cells, thus providing a potential mechanism of action.”

Statins at Start of Androgen Deprivation Therapy Increase Treatment Efficacy

“Statin use has been associated with improved outcome in prostate cancer. In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Harshman et al found that statin use at the time of initiation of androgen-deprivation therapy was associated with prolonged time to progression during androgen-deprivation therapy in men with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. The potential mechanism of this effect may be statin competitive inhibition of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) uptake.

“Androgen-deprivation therapy for biochemical or metastatic recurrence or new metastatic disease between January 1996 and November 2013 showed that 283 men (31%) were taking statins at the start of androgen-deprivation therapy. After a median follow-up of 5.8 years, 644 patients (70%) had disease progression while receiving androgen-deprivation therapy, with a median time to progression during androgen-deprivation therapy of 20.3 months. Median time to progression was 27.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 21.1–37.7 months) in statin users vs 17.4 months (95% CI = 14.9–21.1 months) in nonusers (P < .001).”

Statin, Metformin Combination Reduces Prostate Cancer Mortality, Particularly Among Obese Men

“The combined use of statins and metformin reduced disease-specific mortality in patients with prostate cancer, according to population-based study results presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.

“Patients with obesity and metabolic syndromes demonstrated particular efficacy from the combination, the researchers also found.

“ ‘A recent preclinical study showed that combined statin and metformin should have a synergistic effect to reduce metastasis [in patients with prostate cancer], and should be more effective than the standard chemotherapy regimen available,’ Grace L. Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH, professor of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and resident member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, told HemOnc Today. ‘We conducted this study because there really is no clinical data out there.’ “

Statin Drugs Can Delay Prostate Cancer Progression in Patients Receiving Androgen Deprivation Therapy, Study Shows

“Men who went on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs when they began androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer had a longer time in which their disease was under control than did men who didn’t take statins, a clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators shows.

“In a study published online today by JAMA Oncology, the researchers report that men who had been taking statins since the start of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) went a median of 27.5 months before their disease began to worsen, compared to 17.4 months for men who didn’t take statins. The trial involved 926 patients, 70 percent of whom had their disease progress during a six-year period.

“ ‘This median 10-month benefit in delaying disease progression suggests that statins could be a valuable addition to our current therapies for prostate cancer,’ says the study’s first author, Lauren Harshman, MD, medical oncologist at the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber. ‘These results are supported by multiple prior epidemiologic studies demonstrating that statin use may be associated with improved outcomes in prostate cancer, but require validation.’ “

Can Statins Help Improve Prostate Cancer Survival?

“Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may slow down prostate cancer in men who are also taking medication to reduce their levels of male hormones, according to new research.

“Taking a statin alongside androgen deprivation therapy slowed the progress of prostate cancer by about 10 months, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Lauren Christine Harshman, an assistant professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

” ‘Patients on a statin have a significantly longer time to progression,’ Harshman said.

“The study’s findings were presented recently at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, Fla. Research presented at meetings is generally viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

“The study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between statins and prostate cancer survival, just an association.”

ASCO: OK to Stop Statins in Terminal Illness

“Stopping statins for terminal patients doesn’t hasten death and may improve their quality of life, a trial showed.

“The 60-day mortality rate didn’t differ significantly after discontinuation of long-standing statin therapy compared with staying on it (23.8% versus 20.3%, P=0.60), Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD, of Duke University Medical Center, and colleagues found.”