A new study has found that men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer had the disease progress slowly if they were also using cholesterol-lowering statins.
Previous research has found that there may be a link between statin use and improved outcomes for prostate cancer. However until now researchers did not have a lot of data on how the outcome is affected by statins in combination with androgen deprivation therapy.
Androgen deprivation therapy is currently hailed as the cornerstone treatment for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.
This research team wanted to find out whether statins would interfere with the ability of DHEAS to penetrate cells and whether it could delay resistance
The researchers analyzed statin use in 926 patients who initiated ADT for prostate cancer between 1996 and 2013.
The data demonstrated that 31% of the participants were taking a statin when they started androgen deprivation therapy. After about 6 years, the disease advanced in 70% of the patients while they were receiving androgen deprivation therapy.
The team than compared the median disease progression times of patients who had been taking statins with patients who had not taken statins. The comparison revealed that the median time for disease progression among statin users was longer at 27.5 months than it was for non-users at 17.4 months.
Statins effectively decrease the available intratumoral androgen pool and affords a plausible mechanism to support the clinical observation of prolonged time to progress in statin users.
Other experts assert that the study is a compelling argument for a biologic mechanism of action of statins in advanced prostate cancer.
Although this new study provides a base for future evaluations the current data is not sufficient to support incorporation of statin use into clinical oncology practice for patients with prostate cancer.
More research and data needs to be compiled before there can be talks of further implementation.