Men who’ve been treated for prostate cancer and are taking one of the popular cholesterol-lowering ‘statin’ drugs (Lipitor and Zocor are examples) may be on to a good thing.
Statins appear to improve the outcome of prostate cancer treatment with radioactive seed implants - so-called brachytherapy - according to a new report.
Dr. Gregory S. Merrick from Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia and colleagues evaluated the impact of statin therapy on disease progression and long-term survival after in 512 men who had undergone brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer.
At follow-up, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, percentage of positive biopsies, and tumor stage “were significantly lower in the statin than in the nonstatin users,” the investigators report in the medical journal Urology.
Survival without recurrence of the disease at 8 years was 97 percent for patients taking statins and 94percent for patients not taking statins, the results indicate.
Higher PSA levels before treatment and being overweight were associated with lower survival rates, the researchers note.
“Since cardiovascular disease is a primary cause of death in men treated for clinically localized prostate cancer, an agent that could potentially benefit both prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease would be of great utility,” Merrick commented to Reuters Health.
SOURCE: Urology, December 2005.
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD