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Keywords:

  • prostate cancer;
  • recurrence;
  • statins;
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors;
  • radical prostatectomy

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

  • Statins have shown broad spectrum anti-cancer properties in laboratory studies. In epidemiological studies, use of statins has been associated with reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer. However, the effects of statins on prostate cancer disease progression following curative treatment have not been extensively studied, and previous studies reported conflicting results.
  • This study found no clear association between overall statin use and risk of disease progression, as well as lack of a monotone dose–response relationship between the use of statins, whether it was use before or after prostatectomy, and prostate cancer disease progression.

Objective

  • To investigate whether use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (‘statins’), which have shown broad spectrum anti-cancer properties in laboratory studies, is associated with a reduced risk of recurrence in patients with prostate cancer who undergo radical prostatectomy.

Patients and Methods

  • All men with incident prostate cancer diagnosed between 2004 and 2005 who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy by the end of 2005 in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) health plan were identified using KPSC's cancer registry.
  • Subjects were followed for up to 5 years after prostatectomy for (i) biochemical recurrence, defined as a single PSA measurement >0.2 ng/mL, and (ii) clinical disease progression, defined as diagnosis of metastatic disease or prostate-cancer-related death.
  • Information on statin use, demographics, comorbidities, patho-clinical factors and outcomes were ascertained from KPSC's electronic medical records.
  • The effects of statin use prior to and after prostatectomy were both examined using bivariate and multivariate Cox models, adjusting for known prognostic factors. For postoperative statin exposure, a time-dependent Cox model was used.

Results

  • A total of 1200 men were included; 37% had preoperative and 56% had postoperative statin use.
  • Neither preoperative nor postoperative statin use was associated with biochemical recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.00 [0.72–1.39] and 1.05 [0.76–1.46], respectively) or clinical disease progression (HR = 0.63 [0.31–1.27] and 1.20 [0.63–2.30], respectively).
  • No clear dose–response relationship was found for duration of use.

Conclusions

  • Statin use may not prevent prostate cancer progression following radical prostatectomy.
  • These findings do not provide support for the pursuit of a prospective clinical trial of statin use as a secondary prevention among surgically treated patients with prostate cancer.