Cholesterol drugs might boost kidney cancer survival

May 7, 2013
Cholesterol drugs might boost kidney cancer survival
Study finds statin medications tied to lower death risk after nearly 4 years of follow-up.

(HealthDay)—Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that are taken by millions of Americans might also improve survival from a type of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma, a new study suggests.

Statins—drugs such as , Lipitor, Pravachol and —have anti-inflammatory and cell self-destruction properties, and previous research has shown that these drugs may lower the risk of developing some . The new research, presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Diego, suggests that the drugs might fight kidney cancer.

"Given that one in four Americans over 45 years of age take a statin and renal cell occurs most often in men ages 50 to 70, it may be prudent to prospectively evaluate if statins protect against [cancer] progression," study author Dr. Scott Eggener, an associate professor of urologic oncology at the University of Chicago, said in a meeting press release.

One expert not connected to the study wasn't surprised by the findings.

"The use of statins has shown promise in previous studies with reducing overall cancer-related mortality," said Dr. Michael Palese, an associate professor of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City. He added that certain characteristics of renal cell carcinomas might render statins "beneficial" for patients.

In the study, Eggener's team reviewed data from more than 900 patients who had surgery for between 1995 and 2010. After an average follow-up period approaching four years, statin use was associated with a reduced risk of , the team reported.

Over three years, 10 percent of the patients who took statins died of their cancer, compared with 17 percent of those who did not take this type of drug.

After accounting for other factors, the researchers concluded that statin use was independently associated with both improved overall survival and disease-specific survival.

Another expert said the finding echoes those seen in other studies involving cancer patients.

"Last year in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Danish researchers studied 13 different cancers and found that in all types, the use of statins was associated with longer cancer specific survival," said Dr. Manish Vira, director of the fellowship program in urologic oncology at North Shore-LIJ's Arthur Smith Institute for Urology in Lake Success, N.Y.

But he stressed that the data so far come from observational trials, which can prove an association but not a cause-and-effect relationship between statin use and improved survival.

"Given the current data and known cardiovascular protective effects of statins, certainly it seems prudent to design clinical trials to study the potential of statin therapy in breast, colon, prostate and now treatment," Vira said.

Studies presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Explore further: Study finds no link between statins and cancer risk

More information: Find out more about renal cell carcinoma at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Related Stories

Study finds no link between statins and cancer risk

July 25, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that, contrary to previous studies, the use of cholesterol reducing statin drugs does not increase the risk of patients ...

Statins may help prolong survival in NSCLC resection

October 22, 2012
Patients who have undergone resection for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may improve their overall survival and reduce the risk of recurrence by taking statins.

Statins prevent cancer in heart transplant recipients

May 20, 2012
Statins prevent cancer and reduce death from all causes in heart transplant recipients. The findings were independent of cholesterol levels.

Statin use at cancer diagnosis linked to lower mortality

November 8, 2012
(HealthDay)—For patients with cancer, statin use prior to diagnosis correlates with reduced all-cause and cancer-related mortality, according to a study published in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Recommended for you

Cancer-death button gets jammed by gut bacterium

July 27, 2017
Researchers at Michigan Medicine and in China showed that a type of bacterium is associated with the recurrence of colorectal cancer and poor outcomes. They found that Fusobacterium nucleatum in the gut can stop chemotherapy ...

Researchers release first draft of a genome-wide cancer 'dependency map'

July 27, 2017
In one of the largest efforts to build a comprehensive catalog of genetic vulnerabilities in cancer, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified more than 760 genes ...

Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer

July 27, 2017
Cells, just like people, have memories. They retain molecular markers that at the beginning of their existence helped guide their development. Cells that become cancerous may be making use of these early memories to power ...

Blocking the back-door that cancer cells use to escape death by radiotherapy

July 27, 2017
A natural healing mechanism of the body may be reducing the efficiency of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients, according to a new study.

Manmade peptides reduce breast cancer's spread

July 27, 2017
Manmade peptides that directly disrupt the inner workings of a gene known to support cancer's spread significantly reduce metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists say.

Glowing tumor technology helps surgeons remove hidden cancer cells

July 27, 2017
Surgeons were able to identify and remove a greater number of cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients when combining intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) - through the use of a contrast agent that makes tumor cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.